Twitter co-founder and board member Evan Williams thinks it's stupid to put so much stock in user metrics.
Well, he put it more bluntly.
Fortune's Erin Griffith has the quote of the week – at least from a tech leader. No minced words to be found here.
It’s a question of breadth versus depth. Why is users the only thing we talk about? The crazy thing: Facebook has done an amazing job of establishing that as the metric for Wall Street. No one ever talks about, ‘What is a [monthly active user]?’ I believe it’s the case that if you use Facebook Connect—if you use an app that you logged into with Facebook Connect—you’re considered a Facebook user whether or not you ever launched the Facebook app or went to Facebook.com. So what does that mean? It’s become so abstract to be meaningless. Something you did caused some data in their servers to be recorded for the month. So I think we’re on the wrong path.
If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant. It’s at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this realtime information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter—important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter. If that’s happening, I frankly don’t give a shit if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures.
The whole reason Williams is expressing his lacks-of-shits-given opinion is that Fortune asked him about the recent news that Instagram has surpassed 300 million MAUs. Twitter, according to their last report, has just under that number.
In a way, he's right. There's no way that you can say that Instagram is affecting the global dialogue as much as Twitter. But it should also be pointed out that while he doesn't give a shit about the number of people looking at pretty pictures on Instagram, people with money do.
What do you think?
Image via Evan Williams, Twitter