For the record, I’m a fan of Gab and love everything Andrew Torba has been doing. I’ve posted articles on Gab about how they’re far superior to Parler, and in terms of favorite platforms, I consider myself a Gabber.
However, Parler has been stepping up their game, and some of my gripes against Parler have been solved, closing the distance between the two.
When the Hunter Biden laptop news broke, Twitter was bouncing users left and right, and the only place to post was on Gab. That stressed their capacity, and there was constant sluggishness and downtime.
More recent, the Gab team tried to make some fixes on the back end, bringing the site down, yet again. Very frustrating for users, but I’ve been in the software/cyber world for almost thirty years so I get it and can power through knowing they were working their asses off to get it working and will eventually get us to stability.
I’d let it slide, but Andrew Torba needs to get it together over there. I’m on him only because he doesn’t hold off on unloading on my President for not having the wall completed, without consideration of what’s involved in the fight to get it built. Therefore, I have no sympathy for any of Gab’s excuses.
My biggest gripe with Gab has been them not caring about embedding, where you can take a post and embed it on a website page. Those of us with websites like to embed posts in our articles and blogs, and I’ve watched many-a-brilliant Gab post I’d love to embed float away downstream knowing I'll never see it again. Sure, I could take a screenshot and link it back to the post, but that’s extra work and I’m lazy.
When I do embed a tweet, I cringe, because I know the Twitter communists will likely ban it at some point leaving an empty spot on the page. I’ve had to clean up a lot of defunct tweets here and make a note to explain the disruption of flow so the reader knows there was a tweet there at some point.
Gab would be an excellent solution for posting tweets, because I could embed the tweet in a Gab post, and then embed the Gab post on the site, giving me somewhat of a wrapper for the tweet. If the tweet goes away, I still have the Gab post in place.
However, Gab has ignored this embedding functionality, and for whatever reason, not considered it an important feature. Conversely, Parler’s biggest issue (in my opinion) was that user posts weren’t visible by the public, and certainly not embeddable. Now?
( Parler is dead... post is gone)
Parler figured out this was a major handicap and fixed it and provided embedding. Gab hasn’t. I’ve made many-a-post in comments on Gab over the past few years about embedding and have been ignored, but again, I know they’re working on it.
Another feature where Parler is winning is on direct messages. Parler now has them, and Gab doesn’t. Gab has said they’re working on it, so maybe we can see this deep into Trump’s second term.
When Gab does get DMs working, however, it will be secure. I wouldn't trust Parler with security, but I do trust Gab. That is important to users like me, but for now, I have private conversations, albeit insecure, with other users.
Another issue I've had with Gab has been Torba crapping on Trump's inner circle, like Jared Kushner, then wonder why he can't get the Trump team over to Gab or get a meeting with them. That's been disappointing, but serendipitous because Gab's technical issues proved a Trump user surge would have been an embarrassing disaster.
My latest cringe with Gab has been in regards to something their new CTO posted. The current Gab code base is built on Ruby, but he's not a fan of it (nobody is, and it's a curious design decision, but I digress). So, he has to get up to speed on it and make design decisions of new features based on a dying language, or revamp things, yet again, in another language.
I think the latter is a better decision, but to someone like myself who's started and run a few tech businesses, it's a glimpse into the state of Gab's tech situation (I've been there). Hopefully Morotto will just scrap it and rebuild the infrastructure with tools he likes, even if it takes longer.
I love Torba and Gab, so this wasn't a hit piece, but objectively, they're losing ground. With Gab's new CTO and the new features he'll roll out, and their current development with Gab TV to compete against YouTube, they'll stay ahead of Parler. I'm on team Gab, but they need to step it up because Parler is gaining.