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misteraven

Weigh In: Has the social media revolution devolved conversation?

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https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/04/30/tech/instagram-hiding-likes/index.html

 

Interesting move (and telling) that Instagram is beta testing hiding likes. At first I was like, fake news- ain’t going to happen... But then thinking it through and now seeing it happen (in Canada, verified by @Kults), it makes sense. 

 

Here’s what I think is happening...

 

the success of Instagram, like this forum, is in fact the average user. That’s the foundation in any community. Instagram has obviously evolved to a powerful platform and they’ve added features / tools to enable ‘super users’. In fact, they cultivate it by adding ‘verification’ badges and adjusting their algorithm to ‘promote’ these ‘super users’. Seems what’s happened, however, is it’s become an echo chamber. That for the most part, these super users aren’t actually contributing content, but rather using it as a platform to promote themselves or often, their company. Those same super users have metrics and tools that allow them to optimize every post, and no doubt their also think of post content the same way. So they’re driving hard for likes, and in comparison to the average user (and metrics), getting them. 

 

They by product of that is that you have to work far harder to get ‘likes’ as it’s no longer an organic process. The average user is seeing likes decline and feeling increasing stress since the super users are driving hard, getting extra help from the platform and seeing huge ‘likes’ counts. 

 

Its inevitable that on top of the fatigue (that’s very real), that the average user is contributing less and less. Instagram recognizes this as a death spiral, even if far off. The move to hide likes is a reaction to lesson that stress and get their base contributing again. Though their overall traffic might sustain, largely due to the addictive qualities of this whole thing (which is also very real) and also because there simply hasn’t been a compelling alternative to Instagram, they know this is a very bad sign. 

 

That drop off in contributions is what we observed and discussed previously, and why there’s so many suggestion on who to follow and hash tags you can follow, which is now taking up more and more of a persons feed. Obviously, they’re trying very hard to promote engagement / growth. 

 

Instagram is basically a steady stream of advertising at this point. Obviously, not in the traditional sense (though even that can be debated most of the time), but self serving content with obvious agenda and strategy.

 

my prediction, and there’s already evidence of moves their making to this end, is that they’ll soon start to really focus on the comment side of things. They’ll add whatever tools and features to encourage discussion as yet another method to mitigate the death spiral. Likewise, I predict they’ll also implement further features or things that encourage their base; the average user. 

 

Instagram is dead. They just don’t know it yet. Also a ton of people have made real investments into their accounts and the platform. They’ll also resist, which will help drag out the process. 

 

Just my observation, followed by two cents.  

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Posted (edited)

@misteravenI believe every social media platform has set up a cash register on top of FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out

I believe you are right and that the decline of the "free" social media space is now occurring...the apparent "peak" would've been the very public "FYRE fest" shit pile that happened a while ago

 

social media is so entwined in making a buck that apps being developed today are literally social platforms where you can make friends selling shit

 

etsy

depop

poshmark

stockx

 

its a natural turn and history says that subcultures revolving around commodities will simply evolve into a revolving door of trends made for sale

Edited by glorydays
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Thought this belonged here 

AFCD927D-A6C4-46E3-863E-750F58CDF67B.jpeg

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Whilst I miss a constant feed of new work, like we used to have here, I'm satisfied that I don't IG.

 

Deleted FB recently as well, for multiple reasons. I still have to run the corporate Twitter account though, unfortunately.

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Still gritty, leave the pretty to the females The watch mother pearl weather seashells Pick of the litter, have this nigga picking paper up Twitter thug, I'm the townline strangler

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I started reading this thread while at the gym inbetween sets... on my

phone. Im typing a reply currently on my phone, while taking a dump.

 

few thoughts (i didnt read everything before me but i’ll weigh in)

 

im 30 something now. I started on this site way back when I was deep into the artsy side of shit. This and a few other forums were really the ONLY way at the time to connect, engage, learn the ropes and see cool shit. Phones werent such a thing at the time so my fix was only available on a PC, and once I sat down for a minute I was hooked for hours! 

 

Fast forward a few years... I am

older, into different shit that doesn’t require nor really have an “internet component” to it, i start into the career, job, woman, friends life, and all of a sudden am finding myself with less time to devote to this stuff. I have to find a balance between hobby and social

life and engagement with an internet community goes by the way side.

 

Enter social media. I began with Facebook (which i think now is mostly old people sharing their photos of grand kids?). I never like facebook or saw a reason for it. Like some said, it always felt like an over-share and the people who were most into it and engaged were people i didnt care for in real life! 

 

Then i got into instagram. Initially it was a breath of fresh air. I liked seeing photos, art, cool stuff, without the riff raff. It was a perfect little quick thing to do when bored day to day. I didnt have 3-4 hrs a day for a forum, but did have 3-4 hrs a day in 2-5 min increments (crazy if u add up all your daily screen time)

 

I thought IG was somewhere i could share my art, check out others, etc like the art sections of this forum.

 

i quickly realized this was not the case at all, especially as the app evolved and changed.

 

the problems: the app (and all other social media platforms) are NOT about nor for the users, where forums are. You gotta wonder how a FREE service such as these platforms are some of the most PROFITABLE companies out there? Where is the revenue from? Not users! They dont even take a cut if you make money from THEIR platform! Thats pretty confident! 

 

These platforms that were maybe once about discourse or engagement evolved into something else. Money and profit. Which fair enough, running shit aint free, but I think people need to realize this and not get it twisted.

 

its what happens with most things. Imho the internet back in its early years was a niche space, a community for subcultures, outcasts, not the main stream. 

 

With the popularity of social platforms, the realization of how to profit from these platforms and the internet i think we see it become mainstream, targeting the mainstream, but not for the same reasons the internet was cool back in the day for “us”. Kind of like an internet culture appropriation. 

 

I personally dont see long form discussion ever becoming a thing online anymore personally. The mainstream folks that were turned onto the net were done so by the new age of it and were never previously involved in long forums to begin with. The new age kids are coming up in a time where no such discussion ever existed. Its a new wave. 

 

It never was cool to spend “hours online” but thats what u needed to do in order to truly be engaged online. Now people STILL spend hours on their screen but somehow splitting that time into small chunks throughout the day is regarded as better. Not conducive to sharing real thoughts or opinions.

 

it also goes hand in hand with how the platforms work. You think 12oz would get the same ad revenue from a dude who literally spent an hour in one thread, reading replies, and typing this comment up? Probably not as much as a site that gets millions of “clicks” and “views” and “likes” which is the barometer for popularity, engagement and monetary worth now, although not an accurate one (but them companies needed some measurable way to fool people).

 

the way its set up now capitalizes on our very nature. These shits are addictive. We fall into incessant checking of our phones, clicking shit, which is now how more and more these apps are evolving cuz thats what makes money. Little hits throughout the day.

 

almost done.

 

i think however its important not to fall into a “it was better back in my day” attitude. Historically, this is how every old generation felt about a new one or a new trend. Personally new generations and trends start new and innovative ideas. I think the real solution is to be in tune with what happens currently, how it works, and find a way to twist and turn it into what you want; attract the new generation somehow, but if it were easy, everyone would be jack dorsey.

 

 

final thought - one thing i did find interesting and promising was the jack dorsey podcasts recently. At least on the twitter side, he appeared to be very aware of how discourse has essentially died. If nothing else twitter seemed to be genuinely interested i promoting true conversation on its platform and being better at it. In a way it sounded like it was moving toward what forums of old used to be. However i think it will always boil down to this - no mods, no rules, open to everyone = an endless supply of fucking newbs ruining it (ie average joes who are internetting for the first time and dont know how the internet really works, nor the rules of the internet)

 

 

ps. I literally took almost an hour to write this rant

 

 

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altho i wonder

 

how much of what we see online today is due to what the general populace shapes, versus how much is made to be the way it is because of its effectiveness to meet a bottom line...

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On 5/13/2019 at 6:25 AM, Hayabusa said:

the problems: the app (and all other social media platforms) are NOT about nor for the users, where forums are. You gotta wonder how a FREE service such as these platforms are some of the most PROFITABLE companies out there? Where is the revenue from? Not users! They dont even take a cut if you make money from THEIR platform! Thats pretty confident! 

This hit me pretty hard. Might be obvious, but dont think its been mentioned or at least not quite so concisely.

 

Though I disagree with what you say later here...

 

On 5/13/2019 at 6:25 AM, Hayabusa said:

I personally dont see long form discussion ever becoming a thing online anymore personally. The mainstream folks that were turned onto the net were done so by the new age of it and were never previously involved in long forums to begin with. The new age kids are coming up in a time where no such discussion ever existed. Its a new wave. 

I think things will likely come full circle. Not to say it'll be a rehash of the early days or take the same form, but I think we're seeing the end of a particular era that has been defined not just by social media, but social media apps on tiny screens. And this isnt to say that people will wake up and throw their smartphones away... Only that I think in general people have largely evolved past the bite sized chunks of content and constraints of those platforms and are realizing they gave up convenience for much more meaningful interactions and experiences and that someone will eventually come along that will provide a solution to this.

 

I heard recently someone in the marketing space say that the worldwide web was dead. That all investments should be made into social, namely IG. I completely disagree with this and in fact think that the fatigue and frustration is bad enough on IG, that we night actually see a resurgence on forums until something better comes along.

 

In any case, appreciate the time you took to compose your thoughts on the subject @Hayabusa

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