But to suggest Parler will be anything but a gathering spot for group think on the right would be a severe miscalculation of how social media works and what keeps Twitter alive and undefeated. At its heart, Twitter is a driver of news and events. Twitter is a user-driven platform where you can find out what’s happening in your neighborhood, your city, your country, or the world at any given moment. This past weekend, for instance, when free agent quarterback and former MVP Cam Newton signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, the story didn’t break on television or cable news or even ESPN. It broke on Twitter. As the Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent manhunt unfolded, it did so in real time over the course of several hours on Twitter. No social media platform has been able to replicate that paradigm while also serving as a hub for celebrities to engage directly with fans and media. All of the different and wild personalities that stem from that are secondary.
Without that core aspect of what Twitter is, what you’re left with is a bunch of people standing around a water-cooler searching for something to talk about. Some might promote their own media ventures and YouTube shows, but they don’t really need a fledgling social-media platform for that. If Milo Yiannopoulos’s fans want to find him, they know where to go. But ever since Milo was expelled from Twitter, his public profile has diminished.