It feels like every month that there is another attempt at grabbing attention from the big platfoms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. And almost every month another platform crashes to Earth in failure. So which ones out there are a complete waste of time and energy?
Three platforms stand out at completely useless and a waste of time and effort for Australian business.
- Duck Duck Go
Let’s explore this a little, because a couple of these might be a little unpopular with some people.
Google has competition. Sort of.
There are other search engines other than Google. The second biggest one is YouTube, but that is owned by Google. Then there is Bing and Duck Duck Go. Bing is a useful, but poor copy of Google. While it is fairly good at finding things that are very easy to define, it’s always been a little spotty when you’re looking for things with context. And then there is Duck Duck Go.
The premise of Duck Duck Go is to produce search results with privacy. The system doesn’t keep a record of your search history, your search patterns or use the Chrome browser to track what you do in order to give you better search results. Which is probably why it is probably the worst search engine I’ve ever tried to use.
Duck Duck Go is missing context. And that context is what makes Google so good at what it does. Basically, if you’re so paranoid about your data being collected, then you’re probably in the wrong place right now, because data collection is exactly what makes digital platforms work better for people. The lack of data history, search record and behavioural data in Duck Duck Go means that it’s a frustrating, annoying waste of time and attention. If you’re a business, you don’t the energy to waste on using a search engine that just doesn’t work well at all.
TikTok has competition as well
TikTok was pretty much a copy of an old app called Vine. Vine allowed you to make short, sharp video content that was squeezed into 6 seconds. TikTok took that concept and expanded it to 15 seconds – and then much longer videos. Clash, (formerly called Byte) is a copy of both of these. It is like Vine because it was made by the original founder of Vine who sold the app out to Twitter who essentially shut it down. But Clash is also a copy of TikTok as it contains creative tools for you to make cute shot format videos in much the same way as it’s bigger cousin from China.
But the lack of market share and audience means that Clash, despite being a really nice app and easy-to-use, just isn’t worth the time and effort. There is far too small an audience there to get any return on your time investment.
Clubhouse is over
It came out fighting fit in late 2019 and really made its name in 2020. But by late 2021, Clubhouse is like a fireworks display. It was pretty and quite spectacular while it lasted, but it’s mostly over now.
The idea of live audio on an app that you can’t listen to later just reproduces the same problem with live traditional radio. The whole here now, gone later nature of radio and Clubhouse means that the app doesn’t solve the problem of traditional radio. It’s just a replication of radio with less credible voices and less ads. Though most rooms on Clubhouse are essentially ads for the products and services of the room’s host.
The immediate nature of Clubhouse means that it’s also a massive time-sink. And I don’t know of any vaguely successful small business owner who has that kind of time to be sinking into talking with 15 people who are all trying to spruik their expertise and wares.
It’s probably also why the copycat tools like Stereo, Wisdom and even Twitter Spaces have failed to get much traction. We simply don’t have the time to dedicate to it.
Should we never try to use anything new?
There will naturally be new platforms and tools popping up all the time for businesses to try. For now, though, the only recent platform to really warrant any new attention was TikTok. So apart from the incumbent platforms, it may be a while before anything new comes along that really moves the needle in another direction. That may be boring to those of us who are early adopters of new technologies, but it does mean that we can spend our precious time mastering what is known, rather than needlessly experimenting with what might be the next big thing.
Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Facebook Blueprint Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Facebook Australia, a digital advisor with Business Station, an accredited Digital Solutions advisor and presenter, and the editor at The Small Marketer. You can watch free 1-hour webinars and grow your digital skills at Dante’s YouTube Channel.