the banality of parity

The launches of AIM Pages and MySpace Messenger fill me with ennui.
It is encouraging to see so many people and companies pursuing what is ultimately a good thing for everyone (social applications and media), but I think that here, as with so many other social applications, the product capability precedes a useful or fun reason to use the new service. Why should I use MySpace’s IM client instead of AIM? Why should I use AIM Pages instead of MySpace? In either case, the fact that these companies have overlapping products is an artifact of their business structure, not because there is a product that taps into an unfulfilled human need.
Given all the awkward qualities and huge limitations of the social media products that exist today, it seems utterly pointless for companies to spend time copying each other’s products!

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