Instagram surprised about five people on the internet when
This incredibly obvious borrowing from a rival fits into a long history of social networks mirroring each other. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and their offspring have repeatedly copied things like hashtags,
Indeed, social networks will likely keep copying their rivals, à la Jennifer Jason Leigh. So we can only hope it’s not too late to tell them which features should be off-limits.
Facebook: LinkedIn’s “Who’s viewed your profile”
Although little of what you do on the
At the buttoned-down, business-minded LinkedIn (
That kind of a feature would be a disaster on Facebook. Gathering intelligence on bosses and coworkers, basking in schadenfreude at the political leanings of relatives and, yes, stalking exes would never be the same if they could tell you’d been reading their old updates. Please don’t, Facebook.
Twitter: everybody else’s typing-indicator bubbles
Almost everybody running a messaging service has figured out that letting the user know when somebody is typing a reply will keep them staring glassy-eyed at the screen until that response appears.
Sometime, somewhere, somebody at Twitter (
That’s why Twitter instead shelved that project and spent the next 10 months delivering an editing feature for tweets to stop your typos from living forever, a search function that actually finds people’s accounts when you type their names, and tools that effectively thwart
LinkedIn: GIF, emoji and sticker replies
LinkedIn is nobody’s idea of fun — seriously, it’s the
Meanwhile, Facebook, Twitter and pretty much every other social network have been rushing headlong into post-literate communication via such image-driven formats as emoji, animated GIFs and stickers. Other sites have taken the hint: The Washington Post invited readers to record their reactions to the
(Disclosure: The Post’s reader-interactivity experiment may be my fault in some tiny way, since I helped
LinkedIn and its impending corporate overlords must be annoyed to be left out of all this non-text fun, so I won’t be surprised if it chooses to let us respond to the updates and posts of fellow LinkedIn-ers with iconic reactions beyond today’s thumbs-up “Like” accolade. And with Microsoft’s cash coming online, there’s no way this feature can’t be