A picture is worth a thousand words, goes the old saying. Obviously lots of people agree. At the very least it’s a lot easier to post a photo than to bang out 1,000 sensible words. People also think it’s fun to look at the pics. Instagram, the photo-rich social media platform, just announced it has 300 million users–which makes it bigger than Twitter. (Though there are far more tweets per day than image posts…)
Twitter founder Ev Williams doesn’t “give a sh-t” if Instagram has more people “looking at pretty pictures.” That doesn’t even come close in his estimation to the impact Twitter has had. Williams thinks actual number of users is a bad metric anyway–often misleading. What are those users doing? Williams tells Erin Griffith at Fortune magazine that “Twitter is what we wanted it to be…Important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter.” Williams is right, but after Angela Merkel one of the most popular Twitter users is Kim Kardashian, who has 26 milllion followers on Twitter, where she mainly posts pretty pictures. (She has approximately the same number of followers on Instagram.) The company counted all her followers as users when they valued the Twitter IPO, which made Ev Williams a billionaire.
Bonus Factoid for parsing “pictures are worth a thousand words”: The average adult vocabulary contains 20,000 to 35,000 words.