"How Instagram and Twitter buried the hatchet: Consider Post-PMF before PMF"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 09, 2023

3 min read


"How Instagram and Twitter buried the hatchet: Consider Post-PMF before PMF"

When Instagram first launched in October 2010, it quickly became the go-to platform for sharing photos on Twitter. At the time, Twitter did not have the capability to host photos itself, so Instagram filled that gap. This was a prime example of Product Channel Fit, where Instagram was able to provide a service that Twitter was lacking. Users of Instagram who wanted to gain attention and expand their follower base on the platform found it convenient to share their photos on Twitter. Additionally, Twitter users who simply wanted to share beautiful photos to expand their network also flocked to Instagram.

The popularity of Instagram on Twitter grew rapidly, with even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regularly tweeting Instagram photos to his large following. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg also joined in on the trend, further boosting Instagram's presence on the platform. This symbiotic relationship benefited both Instagram and Twitter, as users enjoyed the ease of photo sharing and engagement.

Interestingly, Instagram did not have a "philosophical" objection to showing photos in the Twitter timeline. This highlights the importance of considering Post-Product Market Fit (PMF) strategies before diving into PMF. A brand is a promise, and it is crucial to build a strong defensibility against competitors once the PMF is proven. In the fast-evolving world of technology, especially in industries like AI, IoT, and Blockchain, competition is inevitable. If a company's technology cannot stand out, it is essential to focus on a 10x improvement in user experience (UX) to differentiate from competitors.

There are several key factors to consider when implementing a post-PMF strategy:

  • 1. Proprietary Technology: Developing a proprietary technology that offers a significant performance improvement over the closest substitute can create a strong competitive advantage. This could be a technological breakthrough or a unique feature that sets the product apart.
  • 2. Network Effects: Building a strong network effect can create a barrier to entry for competitors. This can be achieved by fostering a large user base or creating a platform that relies on user interactions and connections.
  • 3. Economies of Scale: Leveraging economies of scale can help reduce costs and increase efficiency, making it difficult for competitors to match pricing. This can be achieved through strategic partnerships, vertical integration, or optimizing operations.
  • 4. Build a Strong Brand: A strong brand can create customer loyalty and differentiate a product from competitors. Investing in branding, marketing, and customer experience can help build a strong brand identity and reputation.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Instagram and Twitter showcased the power of Product Channel Fit and the importance of considering post-PMF strategies. By identifying common points and connecting them naturally, both platforms were able to benefit from each other's features. When expanding a business, it is crucial to build strong defensibility against competitors through proprietary technology, network effects, economies of scale, and a strong brand. By incorporating these actionable advice, businesses can navigate the competitive landscape more effectively and ensure long-term success.

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