Pebble Falls: A ‘friendly’ Twitter replacement closes its doors

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Sad pebbles

Johannes Geyer/Getty Images

With Elon Musk buying Twitter, new social networks viz blue sky, Post.News, thread, and T2/Pebble, have risen to challenge it. Other existing social networks, eg Mastodonwas revived.

Today, while Twitter, recently renamed X, is in decline, there is still no strong front runner to challenge it. And now the first of the Twitter replacements, T2, which changed its name to Pebble, has thrown in the towel.

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Pebble was an early stage, Twitter-like social network. It aimed to become “the authentic conversation space we’ve always wanted”. Its founders, who were originally Twitter alumni, designed Pebble to look and feel like pre-Mask Twitter, with a 280-character limit and direct messaging.

I rather liked it, but it seems I was in the minority. Pebble was always a little rough around the edges, and it never got past about 20,000 users.

gravel profile

Screenshot by Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

In what was still a surprising announcement, Pebble revealed plans to cease operations on November 1, 2023.

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In a letter to users, Pebble said: “However, the painful truth is that we haven’t grown fast enough to make investors believe we’ll break even. Combine that with a crowded field of options — and the uphill climb is equal. Building a full-fledged Pebble To continue, we will need more investment and more time.”

It wasn’t to be – and Pebble’s backers ran out of money and time.

A spokesperson for the platform said: “While we are extremely proud of what we have achieved with our dedicated team and an incredible community, the reality is that our growth rate has not met the expectations set by our investors.”

With the digital landscape growing with alternative platforms, Pebble was competing in an increasingly crowded market.

As the platform prepares for its final curtain call, the team behind Pebble is shifting its focus to showing gratitude to its supportive community. They are exploring the avenue potential to ensure that the connections made on Pebble can continue in other guises. More details are expected to be shared soon.

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Pebble is enabling its members to download an archive of their public posts.

Gravel didn’t make it hugely popular, but it will be missed. As one user wrote, Pebble felt “this is one of the most beautiful corners of the internet. Thank you for all the hard work, and thank you for being around me these past few months.”

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