Last week the Atlantic published a eulogy for Twitter, which of course was widely reshared via... Twitter.
Uhoh, This content has sprouted legs and trotted off.
Then the reactions started coming in. I think Slate is closest to getting it right:
Twitter is not a social network. Not primarily, anyway. It’s better described as a social media platform, with the emphasis on "media platform." And media platforms should not be judged by the same metrics as social networks.
Social networks connect people with one another. Those connections tend to be reciprocal. […]
Media platforms, by contrast, connect publishers with their public. Those connections tend not to be reciprocal.
I have some conversations on Twitter, but mainly I treat it as a publishing medium. I publish my content, and I follow others who publish there. The interactions on Twitter mainly replace what used to go on in various sites' comments.
The value of Twitter is in making it easy to discover and share content. The "social", meaning Facebook-like, aspects of the platform are entirely secondary to the value of the platform. The more Twitter tries to be Facebook, the worse it gets. It should focus on just being Twitter.