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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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I've thought about this a lot myself.  There was something really special about how things were before "social media" was even a phrase.   I'm jumping in here kind of late but wanted to say that

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@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

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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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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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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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@misteravenhttps://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/style/streetwear-hypebeast-survey.html

 

OG brands are waking up also. They realized the futility and stupidity of using "influencers" to up brand "clout"

 

the article interviews some of the more prominent heads in the community.

 

“In the early ’90s, we were all rooted in some sort of subculture,” said Erik Brunetti, the designer behind the label FUCT. “For example, skateboarding or graffiti or punk rock. Versus brands today, they’re not really rooted in any sort of subculture. They just sort of appeared out of nowhere.”

 

they fucking appeared out of nowhere

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The internet, Ross One said, is “the beginning and end of any conversation about things that used to be sacred that are now not. There’s no more underground culture. It’s really hard today for a kid to have something that’s all their own.”

 

There are no truer words said. I know that "gate keeping" is a try hard sweaty neckbeard move, but the internet has ruined any semblance of etiquette that the community had during the early years of street wear collecting.

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Back on topic...

 

Link: @12ozprophet

 

Fresh Fridays with @giz_nyc -
No doubt those who have been around for a minute recognize how the graffiti landscape has changed. It's great to see talented brothers and sisters get recognition and stack chips, but with the mainstream's full embrace of “street art” we can see just how diluted and corny it's become. There’s no longer a cost of entry or dues paid. Subversion and counterculture have been tamed to the point of ubiquity, used to sell craft kits to kids and shitty backpacks at the mall. Going all city was forfeited for hustling your way into a group show and the writer's bench now has corporate sponsorship, hosted each December by the City of Miami. Can’t knock the hustle for those getting paid, but we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that real writers now feel like an endangered species.
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Indeed 12ozProphet played a role in that transition. We thought we could provide a platform to celebrate the heroes and villains of the culture, but ended up yet another facilitator in the demise of everything we loved. We hope to right those wrongs. We’ve made renewed investments in building back The Writers Forum, reclaiming our dedication to real graffiti… No more hype shit, just graffiti photos (in all their glory and sized beyond a measly 1008 pixels), discourse, and shit talk. No corporate middlemen, no suits making decisions on your behalf. This is for writers, by writers, with an emphasis on maintaining privacy, encouraging what’s real and providing it all in chronological order.
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Yeah, maybe it is a long shot… Maybe the forum, like graffiti, is all but dead. But we still maintain the faith... Join us.
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The brothers behind the struggle, since 1993.
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www.12ozprophet.com -
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#12ozProphet #freshfridays #graffiti#vandalism #instagraff #streetart#urbanart #hypebeast #hypeAF#hypelife #hype #modernnotoriety#highsnobiety #streetwear

 

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Are Instagram Influencers Losing Their Influence?

Engagement rates on Instagram are now approaching an all-time low, according to new research...

https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2019/07/237774/instagram-engagement-nears-low

 

How hysteria over Twitter shadow-banning led to a bizarre congressional hearing

https://www.vox.com/2018/9/6/17824652/twitter-dorsey-energy-and-commerce-hearing-shadow-banning

 

MSM is still trying to paint people that are recognizing and discussing it as conspiracy theorists. Here's what members of Congress are saying...

 

"Meanwhile, multiple Democrats on the Energy Committee described the proceedings as a waste of time. After outlining the facts around the alleged shadow-banning incident, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) absolved Twitter and Dorsey of any wrongdoing and called the entire exercise of the hearing “a load of crap.” Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) stated that “this hearing appears to be just one more mechanism to raise money and generate outrage. It appears Republicans are desperately trying to rally their base by fabricating a problem that simply does not exist.”

 

And then this bit of news comes out this week...

 

Facebook Patents Shadowbanning

https://gizmodo.com/facebook-patents-shadowbanning-1836411346

 

Too much of a stretch to consider the people that created those platforms might not necessarily be objective? I can say personally in regards to the forum here that I'm tried to not step on people's opinions and have encouraged people to respectful discussion and debate based on evidence and reason, but even I can't admit to not using this to flex my own points of views on certain subjects that are important to me. Now imagine a silicone valley ego maniac that has billion in the bank and who's agenda is to essentially middle man the online experience. Is it really a stretch to think they might weigh down some things they don't like and perhaps give a bump, if not full advantage, to something they encourage?

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Just posted news of the new forum tee on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/p/B0EVIAoBkl0/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

So we have almost 54,000 followers. After 1 hours, less than 1000 have seen it. 87 people have "liked" it.

 

Fairly certain our account is shadow banned after they rejected our last request to be verified, but stats are abysmal regardless of the reason. Stats like this is what you might expect from spamming people.

 

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I read quite a bit of the comments and there is too many things to quote. Spending less and less time on a desktop computer really shifted me away from the forum. Also as it exploded with new users I didn’t know and didn’t want to try and relate to by spending time in the same space as them. 12oz at his height held real writers and real folks that were relatable. Some were writers some were just graffiti fans or normal people drawn to the channel zero forum in some way. Social media has not only changed the aspect of relationships it has also quickly dismantled culture. David Chang had the most relevant quote on Ugly Delicious that I couldn’t ever conceive of, he said this “what I don’t like about the exchange of information is, I think that the removal of struggle to get that information creates bad cooking, I think that cooks know more than ever before, but, because it was so easy for them to obtain it’s not special.” Now you can apply that to graffiti, tattooing, cooking, any subculture. And that’s not even what it does to relationships. When MySpace and Facebook crossed over I noticed this change of relationships, I noticed people I knew that didn’t know each other started becoming friends. I thought it was so bizarre for the longest time, now it’s the new normal maybe. What I think that does to people is it stretches your friend group from 10 people to say 50 people, now you loose your closeness and strength of the relationship to the 10 people and it’s spread thin to a larger group of people, or it allows you to move your loyalty around. Over all this is not good for people and I think it builds an ungrounded and unsteady foundation. I was looking at my amazon wishlist that I add a lot of books to and come back to when I need a new book and I saw this one yesterday in my wishlist, then started reading this thread later in the day. I havnt read this book yet but for some reason I think it relates heavily to these topics. I constantly have rabbit holes of thoughts based around social media and our society, something I deemed “public school thoughts” once when I was really fuckin stoned. Because I felt they were thoughts that a public school system teaches you to not ever think about. The last one I came up with was this “You put down the sword for a twig when you think you’re a modern day wizard.” What this meant to me at the time when I was super stoned was that, people are forgetting what the important tools are to battle with be it books, family, friends, nature, and people discard these things that are important tools for a twig. Something that will snap under pressure, you want the twig when you think you’re a modern day wizard. A modern day wizard is someone who thinks they have the answer, someone who is quick to use their words (spellcasting), and the main tool of a modern day wizard is a crystal screen (ball) where they receive all the answers. Everyone can’t be a wizard. To quote Edo G “too many captains and not enough soldiers.” 

 

I can ramble on forever about this shit, especially the dismantling of culture, and the Subversive rebuilding of culture by corporations.

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Oh yeah I want to add this as a question for anyone who actually reads this. 

 

What do you think of writers using social media for shameless self promotion. 

 

Like I thought what “we” did was secret. Yet I see people I know and don’t know who are long time vandals. Posting train photos in between tattoos, or posting pictures on a business account to where you can definitely figure out who they are. Or there girl comments on it and you can click her page and see them together. That shit is wild as fuck to me, as someone who is still very secretive about any and all criminal activity. Is there just so much graffiti or crime going on in the world now that resources for prosecutions spread thin??

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26 minutes ago, Intangible said:

. Is there just so much graffiti or crime going on in the world now that resources for prosecutions spread thin??

Where I live, there is very little graff.   The reason for that is because they have made it easy to get a felony, and they give you 2-5 years for a single thing.   Not much crime, so they track down marker tags, and charge them with over $1000. Which so happens to be the damage amount to be a felony.   

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