Snow in Joburg still showcases the power of Twitter

  • This morning people woke up to snow in Johannesburg, taking to social media to share their experiences.
  • Many used Twitter as their go-to, highlighting that the platform still holds value when it comes to sharing in real-time and tracking conversations.
  • Both #ColdFront and #Johannesburg are trending on Twitter at the time of writing.

As forecast last week, people in Johannesburg woke up this morning to snow on the highveld. While the meteorological event is indeed interesting to behold, we’re writing about it for another reason, and that is the fact that people shared their experiences of snow in Joburg on Twitter.

Last week we saw many Twitter users left frustrated by baffling changes to the social media platform, which was then followed by the fortuitous launch of Instagram’s new Threads app.

As such, many (including ourselves) were saying that this was the beginning of the end for Twitter, but snow in Joburg shows just how important the platform is.

At the time of writing, both #ColdFront and #Johannesburg are trending on the platform as people shared videos online of the snowfall.

While Threads has amassed more than 100 million users in less than a week, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has already noted that Threads is not a platform where news or politics will thrive per se, which is of course quite different to the discourse we routinely see unfolding on Twitter.

“Politics and hard news are important, I don’t want to imply otherwise. But my take is, from a platform’s perspective, any incremental engagement or revenue they might drive is not at all worth the scrutiny, negativity (let’s be honest), or integrity risks that come along with them. There are more than enough amazing communities – sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc – to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news,” he recently shared when discussing the direction that Threads may take in terms of its focusing on content.

This makes sense, given the search function on Threads is rather basic right now, only allowing you to discover accounts, and not specific subject matter. Twitter on the other hand, has a fairly intuitive system in place when trying to find social barometers, regardless of the echo chamber rhetoric that the platform is often associated with.

As such, while Threads is gaining significant traction, it looks very much focused on being a platform for people to find communities. Twitter, however, remains a critical tool for sharing news and opinion, as it happens.

Whether Threads will evolve to deliver a more Twitter-like experience remains to be seen, but when it comes to real-time events like snow in Joburg, the former still remains the best option for sharing and following.

[Image – Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash]


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