When Twitter Loses, WordPress Wins

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Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably heard about what's going on with Twitter. But it's possible, perhaps, that you haven't considered what this potential shift means for the companies surrounding the WordPress space.

You know who's having a killer month? Automattic. Everyone who's leaving Twitter seem to fall in at least one of these three camps:

  1. They have gone back to the blogosphere. (using WordPress, or WordPress.com)
  2. They have gone to Tumblr
  3. They have gone to the fediverse (of which a fairly large percentage are WordPress installs)

In all of these cases, Automattic wins.

In fact, I would be downright shocked if the team at Tumblr isn't working very hard to get Tumblr on the fediverse ASAP. It seems like Tumblr has so much to gain in supporting this movement, and very little to lose.

But Automattic isn't the only company poised to gain a lot from this Twitter exodus. I believe that pretty much everyone in the WordPress ecosystem are poised to see a lot of growth around our little piece of software.

As of this writing, WordPress is the fourth most popular software choice for hosting federated content. With plugins like ActivityPub, and Friends, the extremely low barrier of entry to set up and install a WordPress site, and the litany of hosting options, I believe WordPress is primed to become a major platform for the fediverse. Heck, in time, it might even overtake the other software options, becoming the biggest piece of software that runs the fediverse, and the open web as a whole.

Just imagine what kind of profound impact such a thing could have on WordPress. How many more jobs in our industry may crop up as more companies pop up to support this new found purpose. Entire new plugins may pop up, with truly novel purposes. Old features may see a resurgence (post formats, amirite?!). Block libraries, and themes built specifically to make building your own federated server possible.

Imagine the implications for e-commerce plugins, content restriction, LMSes, blogs, and even the humble forms plugin. All of these could be impacted in some way by this movement. All of them could integrated with this new purpose that WordPress is poised to provide. All of them could truly allow people to do some amazing things on the web in ways they're never considered possible before.

It's a brave new world out there, and I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Hold on to your butts, y'all, because I think it's about to get crazy 'round here!