> [TikTok]'s addiction-based advertising machine is probably close to the theoretical maximum of how many advertisements one can pour down somebody’s throat.

Well put. It's interesting that we pivoted in my adult lifetime from:

1. Myspace's emphasis on sharing things on your own webpage, essentially a hosted blog 2. Facebook's evolution from "hosted blog" to "friend update aggregator" to "chat client" to "friend update & ad aggregator" 3. Instagram's callback to simple update sharing (with pictures) and a chronological ad-free news feed 4. Snap's emphemeral sharing 5. Facebook's slow agglomeration and bastardization of all of the features that made Instagram and Snap distinct. 6. TikTok's addictive advertising machine that barely includes any friend connections at all.

Initially I was concerned that this would mean the death of real social media, just like the article initially suggests. But I really like the conclusion the article ultimately comes to: we basically don't have social media right now, we have advertising engines masquerading as social media. Better that Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat show their true colors and become disgusting advertising machines just like TikTok.

If we're lucky, that means a federated, open, mostly-ad-and-suggestion-free open source social media experience can fill the power vacuum for intimate, interpersonal, high-latency communication over the internet. microblog seems promising, but I think even mastodon could provide the experience I'm looking for.

I think the "social" part of social networks just moved to group chats. All my friends share updates of their family events, kids' stuff etc.. over Whatsapp and Telegram. Strangers gather over topics that interest them and want to talk about it seem to have moved to discord, slack etc.

The whole "broadcast yourself to the world" part of social networks just moved to Tiktok, Twitter, Instagram etc.. I think.

TikTok is winning because it is video first. The more immersive the media, the more profitable the ads. Facebook is having trouble pivoting it's products to video. Facebook is betting big that the next more-immersive medium after video will be VR. That's basically the whole story.

Notice I didn't use the word "algorithm" or "social"? These takes are tired and naive, TikTok isn't addictive in any operationally useful sense of the word, people just like it and use it. You may as well write a blog post saying "TV is addictive and it's dying because of commercials". It's just not an accurate conceptualization if the landscape.

Social media cannibalized itself to death in pursuit of ad revenue via increased engagement. The harder they pushed, with content assumption algorithms, the more toxic it became. The more toxic it becomes the more it appeals to extreme personalities while alienating everyone else, a poisonous viper eating itself.

It’s only market lag between the revenue source, media source agencies, and the realization that better markets for their business. When that occurs the death spiral hyper accelerates to rapid finality.

Like all death spirals this could have been avoided had they treated their users as a potential revenue source instead of a product. I was watching a history video yesterday about the Aztecs who completely alienated the tribes in their empire in their own death spiral. The empire was already dead before the Spanish arrived, but the Aztecs just didn’t see it yet.

Ending this with "tweet your comment" and "discuss this on twitter" is amusingly ironic, given that Twitter has always been a place that's actively hostile to any kind of rich, subtle discussion, and has pivoted away from "keep up with people you want to follow" to an official stance of "keep up with the news" and an actual stance of "here is an endless scroll of engaging content, mostly things to get angry about, that we can slip ads into".
I was just chatting about the “golden years” of Facebook with a friend today. I think it was about 10 years ago. Maybe we’re over-glamorizing the past, but at least the way we recall it:

Around 2012-2014, the newsfeed mostly was just updates from your friends with some ads sprinkled in. Everyone was on Facebook, so if you were hosting a social event, you could just invite everyone on Facebook and they’d hear about it. Birthdays were great because everyone would wish you happy birthday and you would do the same for them. There was a location-based search feature, where you could travel to basically any city and search your friends list to see who was there.

I felt closer to a lot of old friends from growing up than almost any other time, because suddenly everyone was on Facebook and it was super easy to catch up with someone I hadn’t talked to in years.

That’s all vanished these days, sadly. Social events are organized by email again (which is fine but less convenient). I’ve lost touch with old high school friends again because nobody uses Facebook anymore except for a few die hard holdouts.

I really remember thinking “Man, Facebook is just so dominant, I don’t see how they could blow it.”

Turns out, if you keep feeding the growth monster in search of more and more “engagement” (enragement?), eventually the growth monster destroys you.

Users of social media will learn how to deal with righteousness. Until we do, social media will suck big league.

Social Media strongly encourages Hot Takes, because those get clicks. I found myself examining how I comment on reddit, and what people call "The Hivemind".

You can't have nuanced discussions on social media, someone will infer what kind of asshole you exactly are, and that's the end of the discussion.

Some poisoned phrases:

Be Reasonable - "why can't you just be reasonable"

Both Sides - "there are good people on both sides"

Some Responsibility - "she bears some responsibility"

Nuanced Discussion - "you can't have a nuanced discussion on social media"

I'm sure there are some poisoned phrases you react instinctively to.

I think weak arguments are good, actually. You don't need to move someone from the swamp to the mountain, you just need them to get on dry land.

Now I'm sure someone has inferred exactly what kind of asshole I am, and they are correct. This is the kind of asshole I am. The kind that wants reasonable arguments to exist in the real world, even if I have to make them up.

I think it is only the beginning of a new age of maturity and de-dinosauring of social networks. Just like the dinosaurs, today's most used social networks kept growing larger and larger until they were too big to sustain themselves. And just like the dinosaurs, they will go extinct and be replaced by smaller, more nimble and competitive social networks, with accessible maintainers, consensual relationships with their users, and features and dynamics we are only beginning to dream of today. I find it very exciting to think about and work on.

Just imagine a social network that combines all of the good things invented in the past 25 years: the customizability of MySpace, the visible social graph of Facebook, the easy sharing of Twitter, the speed of propagation of Friendster, the transparency of Web of Trust, the security and user empowerment of PKI, the distributed and decentralized model of Usenet, the lack of spam of a private tracker, the long-term discussion threads of a forum, the solidity of BitTorrent, the ease of access of AOL, and the compatibility and accessibility of Any Browser Web...

Wouldn't you want something like that for yourself and your communities?

I think that the only domain where social networks can be relevant is in the geoloc domain. Dating apps are quite an obvious example where it works very well, but dating is a very limited scope.

So of course, the single problem of anything geoloc is safety and privacy, which is not the strong aspect of any social network right now. Tinder and others work hard to make their users safe, and it's difficult because users are not aware of it.

Social networks always should have been used to meet people OUTSIDE of screens, for discovering other people and things.

I want to meet people through activities (board games, running, walking), (loneliness is a huge problem in the west!) and except bumble BFF, which isn't popular, there is no popular app to do just that. Of course there is meetup and other things, but those are too narrow.

Neighbor apps are nice too, but nobody use them because they're focused on services, which isn't fun.

Don't you think it's a huge contradiction that current social networks don't let people meet?

"What about this time around we build products whose primary focus is actually the stated mission? Share with friends and family and the world, to bring it together (not divide it)! Instead of something unrelated, like making lots of ad revenue! What a concept!"

I really liked the article but am perplexed by the naive ending.

Friends/family and the world are two very distinct use cases. Most people, young people included, are taking the friends/family part private, in chat apps. Then they may or may not engage in a "public square" social network, but probably with a burner account.

The public square part has failed in epic ways. The idea that you can just "build" something that unites people whilst dodging a laundry list of threats and toxic behavior seems optimistic, to say the least.

And yeah, let's not run ads. Ok, fine. But how will you monetize instead? These seem pretty important questions to me.

If your stated company mission is not the thing that produces revenue then it will eventually be sacrificed for the mission that does produce revenue.

Examples of mission statements that don't produce revenue: Google, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, most news organizations.

Microsoft's missions in 1980 was "A computer on every desk and in every home". Their mission produced revenue. There are lots of examples of mission/revenue alignment.

Y’all should read “Amusing ourselves to death” by Neil Postman if you’re interested in how mediums have changed over the years.

As Huxley hinted, our soma is just technological narcotics. With each new medium of technology brings in a plethora of problems that cannot be reformed.

When I think about what social medias are left, I can only think about LinkedIn. Interestingly, there seem to have been a recent surge of interest for that platform (especially all the cringe worthy posts that started to pop up).

After reading this article, I am starting to wonder if people didn't simply migrate to LinkedIn because of the degradation of Facebook's quality as a Social Network and as they still feel the need to share their lives, started sharing those cringe posts.

I want to see more niche social networks that are only for one thing. I actually really like Strava which is for workouts only. There’s no way to share pictures of inspirational text. I’ve never seen anyone abuse the platform by sharing a run that is actually 0.1 miles plus a rant about Fox News or anything like that.

If I were independently wealthy I’d spend my time building a newsfeed for musicians to share music things where it’s similarly impossible to post pictures of text or news articles. You’d need to be vigilant to prevent it from overstepping the way LinkedIn did.

The challenge is that if you can share photos or video or links at all, it becomes terrible.

"And because it was never about “bring[ing] the world closer together”, they drop that mission as if they never cared. (That’s because they didn’t. At least MarkZ didn’t, and he is the sole, unaccountable overlord of the Meta empire. A two-class stock structure gives you that.)"

Ahahahaha! As if the normal shareholder of FB, or almost any other company, would tolerate them making less money than they possibly could. There is plenty wrong with Facebook, but the two-class stock structure is not the cause, because a single-class stock structure leads to equally pathological behavior.

I yearn for the old days of what I think of as pull (vs. push) social networking. When one would "get on" or "hang out on" MySpace or early Facebook, approaching the experience actively, rather than receiving and occasionally, interruptively, responding to notifications.

The feed of each of these platforms, if it existed at all, was usually a side feature you might interact with (eg: MySpace bulletins) after getting bored doing what you had gotten on to do in the first place: see if anyone had consciously, deliberately reached out to you specifically by commenting on your meticulously composed profile or pictures, or privately by sending you a direct message. And then reach out to someone yourself.

Short of spam, everything waiting for you when you signed on was signal. No noise. Don't like someone but feel obligated to accept her friend request? No biggie—just don't go to check out her profile. You'd never have to take on the indirect stress of learning your friend's roommate takes pride in being shitty to fast food cashiers. You'd probably harbor less resentment and be more optimistic about prospective social interactions with anyone you meet.

And, most importantly (to me, someone who made most of his best friends online in the '90s and '00s), the pull approach encouraged exploration and discovery of new people, communities, perspectives, hobbies, whatever. You couldn't rely on a feed to keep you busy—you had to seek out new interactions. New drama. Whatever. Find good things, find bad things. At least it was your choice to go find them, rather than having them shoved in your face.

I also think most people have lost track of the distinction between social networking and social media. Where the former is focused on socialization around networking (meeting new people, forming communities, etc.), the latter is focused on socialization around media (liking images, commenting on videos, etc.). It sounds obvious when stated, but I think the conflation of these terms has made it more difficult to discuss the differences between what I see as two fundamentally different social experiences, each with their strengths and weaknesses. In some respect, these must coexist, but platform design can favor either direction. Social networking, I feel, is conducive to conversation; dialogue. Social media, by contrast, is conducive to parallel monologues.

I suspect most people would agree that it's better to talk to each other than over each other.

> Imagine what social networking could be!! The best days of social networking are still ahead. Now that the pretenders are leaving, we can actually start solving the problem. Social networking is dead. Long live what will emerge from the ashes. It might not be called social networking, but it will be, just better.

Not to be pessimistic, but this missing the whole point. Just because social networking is gone doesn’t mean it’s somehow in the hands of the people. They will flock to the ML addiction machines and 20 years from now something even more horribly grotesque.

I care about Mastodon, ActivityPub, PeerTube, BlueSky and all these open standards. But these platforms Are sole dependent on users and at the moment, they all look like programmer/activist-centric wastelands.

I must say I really liked social networking when it started out. Now I barely use it anymore because it has been poisoned. And I do not mean the discourses that happen there, I mean the entities who are running it.

If I meet an old friend in my city I would take them for a walk in a public park for a chat, or sit at a nice cafe. What I would not do is go to a place where I do not trust the people who listen to sell that information. And this is what social media has become.

It must not be like this, and maybe the solution is really aomething like the fediverse, but social media without the people you like is no use.

I think everyone is wrong. We still need something like facebook to keep track of people we meet, and friends. In the west, to my knowledge, facebook is still big, along with whatsapp and instagram, to keep track of friends.

Tiktok is more like youtube. It’s a content platform first. Maybe the new generation uses tiktok to keep in touch, or maybe they use something I haven’t heard of, but social networks are bigger than ever.

I think the future of social networks is still not clear though: VR? Wechat-like app? Something else?

I like the analysis and optimism in this article, but it does not answer a key question: who would pay for this social network that truly "brings the world closer together", if not advertisers? What is the business model?
I've been spending more time on Discord. It is replaced forums and subreddits for many of my interests like synthesizers and music. I don't like that the information is stored in a chat-style vs posts.
I really don’t get what is this panic about TikTok. When I used it for the first time, it just kept throwing soft porn videos. I see how people would get “addicted” but I don’t see it becoming any more mainstream than many similar websites. It’s recommendation system left a lot to desire as it simply ignored my preferences and kept throwing at me more of juvenile videos.

So far Social media has strived to be just consumption platform, not utility. Social media can drive every day activities from dating to finding jobs to finding summer camps to garage sale to purchasing gifts etc. There is a lot of untapped potential that FB unfortunately didn’t managed to build upon. The problem with consumption platforms is that they will fall out of fashion eventually. It is astonishing that large swaths of humanity suddenly don’t find FB newsfeed interesting any more. It almost happened to so many people and just over span of months. To me it looks like more of biological saturation rather than anything else.

The Path app was a good social network in hindsight. Share your stuff and look at others stuff. All sorted by date. No algorithms. Which is why it probably failed.

Facebook sucks and I‘d hope that politicians in Germany would take action against it. Start with the algorithmic timelines. All content only your friends and interests. Nothing from outside to addict you further.

Facebook the company will need to buy up all the grassroots social media platforms that sprout up. That costs money and isn't possible in China where they can't buy Tik Tok. That's why there is such a furore by FB backed lobbyist to make Tik Tok a terrorist platform. Long term FB will eventually die as young folk will not want to use the platform old folk do and older folk are less influence by ads on these platforms. It's a slippery slope for FB but there will always be a new platform that sprouts that the cool kids all use.
Just today, a newsletter told me about a "slow" social network called "Be real". Never heard of it.

My message, though, is not that BeReal or anything new is going to be the future of sharing info on the net.

I think the future is looking a lot like the best of the past, with improvement.

Which is why I got this info on a newsletter, that directed me to a blog.

The missing pieces are "personal newsletter made easy" (for producing content), "newsletter discovery made non spammy", and "making all those services sustainable without ads".

Unpopular opinion: So it turns out that while bringing the world closer together is a nice long-term goal, the world isn't ready to be crammed into one giant bull-pen, which was more Facebook's style.

Their utter inability to come up with consistent standards for policing their walled garden, upon having their hand forced to need to try, indicates that maybe that's not a good goal in the first place. Maybe it's okay if not everyone's on your social media engine.

I never used TikTok but from what I heard and saw it is essentially a Vine with better UI and UX e.g. you scroll vertically for new videos and it has very good recommendation system.

P.S. I never used Vine too but then again I read and heard about it.

TikTok won because like other guy said; videos are the most immersive media and I claim that people having short attention span made them hungry for short form of entertainment like short videos.

From time to time I watch compilation of TikTok videos on YouTube and I think "compilation" as a media form is another interesting thing that somebody should experiment with.

Speaking of social networking; my understanding of social networking/media landscape is that Facebook sort of generalized social networking and social networking features and now apps like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are specializing in photos, ephemeral sharing and short videos respectively plus WhatsApp specialized in messaging but Zuck did a great job of making Facebook Messenger a standalone app and then specializing it according to demands of messaging crowd. And yea Zuck acquired Instagram and WhatsApp along the way so competing apps don't hurt Facebook and its family of apps.

private messaging, i.e. telegram/discord seems to be where people are moving. I'm not surprised that Instagram copies TikTok for the algorithmically driven content, what I'm more surprised by is that WhatsApp is still pretty lackluster compared to Telegram given that Mark himself noticed that private groups seem to be what's next. Hard to overstate how much better their UX is compared to anything else.
Do I get this right? Meta is turning Facebook into a TikTok clone just after rolling back a similar change to Instagram? What on earth is their strategy?
Everyone seems pretty wrapped up in the social part. But I think many forget that “media” was actually a big part of this.

Photos weren’t always so easy to share. Having places where media was only based on your friends or people you knew was incredibly novel and useful. A single website you could log in to in order to view photos (and eventually videos) related to you was novel when we all had flip phones and a “camera phone” was special.

Sharing media was tough. Photos - let alone, video - required tech, bandwidth, and a whole-ass computer.

I think that in addition to the social aspect dwindling, changing, or evolving, we must also account for the fact that media is so much easier to create, share, and consume. This is true with friends, relatives, and strangers; locally and afar.

We don’t “need” social media anymore because the media part is mostly solved. Fewer and fewer people don’t have a connected media viewer and creator in their pocket at all times anymore.

Being social with media is as simple as texting someone, or many people. And we do it in high definition all day, every day. No login. No ads. No algorithm.

We've essentially transitioned from 'social networks' to 'content streams'. The evolutionary steps we went through were just pathfinding to get to where consumers always wanted to be: a nonstop amusement drip.

For that reason I think that what we think of as social networks really are dead. It's not what people truly wanted in the first place.

No kidding. Facebook had so much potential, when it was deployed in universities. But then it became a social network about everything. Zuck had a lot of potential when he was thinking about P2P file sharing site Wirehog, but Sean Parker "put a bullet in that thing" and VCs like Peter "competition is for losers, build a monopoly" Thiel shaped it into a money making machine that's less about being social and more about "eyeballs" and mindless cat meme videos. In the endgame, their algorithm selected for clickbait outrage that put peopl[e into echo chambers and tore our society apart.

Imagine what social networking could be!! The best days of social networking are still ahead. Now that the pretenders are leaving, we can actually start solving the problem. Social networking is dead. Long live what will emerge from the ashes. It might not be called social networking, but it will be, just better.

It'll be called "Community". I don't have to imagine. We've been building the Community Operating System for 10 years. And it's available now. No, it's not Mastodon. It's Qbix :)

Yes, it's open source and you can use it now. It's basically a Wordpress for Web 2.0 ... keep in mind that Wordpress powers 40% of the Web 1.0 web. We want to power 40% of the Web 2.0 social web.

Back in 2014 my cofounder and I met with Tim Berners-Lee and his SOLID team. There was a movement underway to decentralize the web. Today, Jack Dorsey is trying to build "Web5" along the same lines but with Microsoft ION / Sidetree protocol, rather than SPARQL (@timbl's obsession) semantic data and JSON-LD.

It's coming along. It's always been coming along. But it's open source so many people don't hear about it, until they do. MySQL took 8 years, NGiNX tooks 10 years but eventually they took over. Open source always does.

Watch the video and feel free to spend some time on the weekend playing with it. :)

The approach at my company is to be group chat first. We think there is a distinction between social media (FB, Instragram, Twitter) and pure social networking. I think social networks that are unbounded and broadcast centric actually demonstrate anti-network effects where the more followers/friends you get the less value you get from your network unless of course you're trying to be an influencer. The ideal network always as a discrete audience anytime you share content or communicate which is exactly what a group chat or direct message provides. But unfortunately, Telegram, Whatsapp, iMessage, etc don't provide the rich interactions that made platforms like FB and Instagram so fun in the beginning.

Give us a shot if you want to try to a new form of social networking:

> What about this time around we build products whose primary focus is actually the stated mission? Share with friends and family and the world, to bring it together (not divide it)! Instead of something unrelated, like making lots of ad revenue! What a concept!

I don't think this will happen. I don't think the failure of existing social networks to do this was a fluke, I think it's a systematic problem that will recur every single time you try it. Like a wagon traveling down a dirt road, any social networking platform will eventually wind up in the same ruts as its predecessors. It may be human nature, it may be economics, it may be the incidental factors related to our current technology and networking structure works. I admit I don't fully understand the mechanism, but I'll go out on a limb anyway.

A very correct observation. Social networking actually feels archaic at this point. The one thing that survived everything is messaging and email. Messaging will be the tool that brings friends together and email remains the one true tool for professional communication.
> This new advertising machine is powered not by friends and family, but by an addiction algorithm

This is like the crack epidemic when I was growing up. China is hitting the west back hard for the Opium wars. First fentanyl and now TicTok addiction algorithms. We are doomed.

This is not the first or second time that humanity has tried 'social networking'. We used to call it "the mob" and long before the time of jesus it was considered that people shouting at each other is no way to run a society. People are dazzled by the shiny touchscreens of their phones, but shouting behind a glossy screen is still shouting, and a mob is still a mob. I don't think 'social networking' will go anywhere, it will be abandoned and foulmouthed as 'loud crazy old people', in favor of curated content, possibly algorithmic if that works. The future of media looks a lot like the media of the past, consolidated , more professional and polished.
My family got me to join Marco Polo recently, and it's really what I want from social media. It's a bit clumsy to use the free version, but there aren't any ads, and it facilitates having meaningful connections with a smaller group of people, which is what I'm really missing from the bigger platforms. Facebook quickly became a giant friend collection for me, which is useful for being able to reach out to anyone when I need to, but it never offered a feed sorted by stuff I actually care about: family and truly close friends, and lifetime events like weddings and deaths for the rest.
I agree with the conclusions, they will definitely be switching to a more addictive model. But it seemed like there is an implication that the previous model was not 'addictive'. Once Facebook figured out how much mentions were driving engagement, they added lots of features to try to drive people towards mentioning their friends in order to send push notifications. Leading to a sort of "addicted to your friend group" situation.

I get that tik tok definitely creates another paradigm shift, likely for the worse, but it's not like social networking is not without issues ina very similar capacity.

Does anyone remember

As far as I remember that was the first social media website.

This is why we are building Notos[1], most of the photo sharing websites evolved in social networks (or died).

We chose to not make our user's album public by default, where most competitors are doing so and benefit from the SEO involved, but we want to focus on sharing with family and friends, not the whole world.

Now the elephant in the room is monetisation and getting people to pay for their usage, this is not easy but we firmly believe it can be done but probably not with a trajectory allowing you to raise VC money.


Wanted to throw in "Haven" because they offer a timely way out:

It's basically a private timeline, written in Markdown and with optional pictures. Also provides a RSS feed.

Not affiliated, but was in touch with the author this week to help him with his Docker setup and hosting:

Maybe just the end of social networking as we currently know it.

There must still be plenty of room and potential value in more focused social interaction that is more highly aligned with user interests other than viral videos.

In a sense, it's interesting that we (social network users) once found the activities of our friends and acquaintances "interesting", but that's largely been subjugated to simply "interesting things are interesting".

Friendster was interesting, myspace was weird, but facebook just became a boring manicured lawn. Eventually it turned to astroturf; fake green to make it look beautiful.

Perhaps snapchat is the evolution of the social network; a closer "social" live snapshot of people we are close to.

Or perhaps its something else.

The short answer is – NO. It's not dying. It's changing just like any other marketing or business strategy. Social media users have become savvy to how social media marketing works.
I loved reading this article. TikTok is perhaps the endgame of all entertainment, from 1920s radio straight to Netflix: monetize people’s willingness to pay for the next bit of entertainment.
I miss how it's not more about connecting me with other people. Rather forcing people content they could engage. UX which main purpose is to keep users spend more time on the platform. For example, I love Strava, there are similar-minded people sharing their photos, activities that I can easily follow and get new ideas for trips and so on. Chronological feed without any special algorithm. Like hey, give me good search options and I can search content for my own.
Yes social is changing. The initial value proposition of sites where we needed platforms to stay-up-to-date, meet new people, and communicate with each other can now be replicated easily.

Most social sites have stayed in the UI paradigm of 2003/2004. Just have a look at how much wasted space there is at LinkedIn.

Sites like Lunchclub, Clubhouse, and Finclout are sites where the tools are expanded through social networks (i.e, come for the tool stay for the community)

There is an appeal to TikTok that I haven’t noticed elsewhere, but it is hard to explain. Content trends are like a game of telephone, so it’s interesting to see what creators choose to carry over into their own content and pass along. It’s fascinating to watch trends evolving so quickly and imo those trends are a special kind of authentic content space that advertisers haven’t really been able to break into and ruin yet.
this author can't see the forest for the trees. "Social networking", for all intents and purposes is just a facet of the internet:

↑ it's a long list ← "101 social networking sites you 'need to know about' (ugh) in 2022"

Idk, this article seems hopelessly naive. So, the author would essentially like to go back in time to a less morally ambiguous internet when people (i.e. techies and nerds) had engaging, thoughtful, and respectful conversations where each emerged a better person. Not gonna happen. The future of social networking looks a lot more like Twitter (but meaner) than it does to the halcyon days of IRC.
Making a distinction between social networking and social media is important. We lost this distinction due to the advertising business model. In the social space a company that focuses on the social networking aspect - connecting people, tools to stay in touch, get together in real life, etc - may actually avoid the corrosive nature of the social space by avoiding the 'media' part.
> So Facebook adjusts, and transitions into another addiction-based advertising machine.

Like Facebook hasn't been that and tried to be even more so since their very first day.

The string of articles with threatening undertones about Tiktok should really lead people from the US to question their tendency to give a pass to the most egregious behaviour from tech companies as long as they are US.

no - but the context is shifting, from Chat -> Clips -> Streams. Though it's still mainly a medium to deliver adverts.

Social networking has pretty much replaced TV & traditional press - now it too must morph.

the biggest obstacles though I think to the social network are the app stores - not necessarily their own decisions but what politics of the day may impose on the store.

There was a similar piece[1] by Cal Newport recently

But what is next? Long tail social networks?


Archive Link for those experiencing the hug of death like me

> Facebook’s rollout of a sweeping TikTok-like redesign

Whose rollout of what now? I updated my app to be sure, even though it only showed fixes and perf in the update. I loaded it in my browser and it looks the same as it has since I last looked months ago. Is this overzealous hypothesizing about being A/B tested or something?

What I mostly see is people retreating from all the noise to closed chat groups in multiple platforms.

If we keep inventing the same things over and over again my bet is that the next big thing will be connecting people in small groups based on geographical location or sub-culture like in the long long ago in the times of IRC.

I'm looking forward to seeing the open source/federated alternatives fill the space.

I can see Telegram broadcast channels (or Signal/Matrix groups with only sending permissions for admin) filling the void for people who'd like to "microblog" short updates like a blog, but just for friends.

I can't avoid thinking how the first mover disadvantage here worked in killing the first mainstream video-first platform: Twitter's vine. Vine wasn't exactly like TikTok, it was 1 generation removed, but it didn't sustained itself - and changed - to become today's tiktok
Meta had $117.9 billion in revenue for 2021, TikTok is estimated to have had $4.8 billion. Social networking is alive and well.

The push into short form is just another way to get users to stay in app longer. Come for your friend's posts/stories (or marketplace, groups, etc), stay for the Reels.

You mean end of classic fb social networking. Social networking in general is going to be big always
As with all "is this X??" headlines: no. The answer is no. I look forward to the end of SEO nonsense instead, when titles actually describe what the post is going to be about. In this case: concluding that it's not and is in fact better than ever.
we can only hope
We already have this at least gamers do it’s called Discord. It’s invite only. Has lots of streaming and group voice chat features and it# topic or thread based around a community. Plus it’s driven by sales of extra feature sets.
I'm really sympathetic to the author. The thing I want to hear however is what does the author and people who believe him think is an alternative that will be profitable (ie., sustainable) in the current world we live in?
Nah, it's more like the beginning of segregation: people who like social media will stay there but I'm seeing more and more people bail out and setup friend clubs (Meetup, Telegram and such).
James Williams (Time Well Spent) on Why and How to End the Attention Economy:
It’s time for an open source - community driven - social networking platform then, isn’t it? But sadly the majority of people wouldn’t probably use it ):
Of course not. Tying such general terms to specific companies is naive, diagnoses of 'the end of ubiquitous thing' are little more than clickbait.
Server melted under the HN onslaught.
It's really simple. All Zuckerberg has to do is drop the "dominate everyone" facade. But I think he's incapable of doing that
I think that the "tree of replies" format, like we have here and reddit, is pretty much perfect.

We just need a better way to filter/trollkill.

What more do we need?

I read something once, that questioned whether social media was working to make us happy, or were we working to make the AI more intelligent.
"Tweet your comments", oh sweet irony.
I keep hearing about this new Facebook, but as an (infrequent) iOS app user everything looks the same. When does doom hit me?
How on earth does Meta get $50 per user per quarter in ad revenue? How many ad clicks is that per user?
"Now that the pretenders are leaving"

Unpunished? To continue committing their moral (at least) crimes?

Discord is becoming huge - just people, chatting.

Like it was when I started using internet and IRC

No. "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." The sweeping generalization refers to the poor journalistic practice of writing sensational headlines in the form of a question in order to compensate for the author's lack of facts.
Aren't forums and websites like HN and Reddit also social media?
How come I’m not seeing any tiktok like redesign on my fb app?
Dear god no. But wouldn't it be nice if it was?
Social network posts are just becoming ads now.
Is this the end of
Reddit is the worst of all the social media considering how toxic the moderation is. You just leave the site full of anger and a desire to shout at all the misinformed on that site.

TikTok is similar to TV. People would sit around the TV for hours per day, TikTok is usually in the magnitude of minutes. The algortyhm also does not feel politically or culturally motivated, unlike Reddit.

God I hope so
>Is this the end of X?


Probably. We ended up with a completely different internet than the one we still thought should be possible in 2004.

For a brief period of time, the internet genuinely subverted the corporate beetle-men and the gatekeepers who've always owned the "official" or real world. You could send an email to a well-known, accomplished person and there was a 75 percent you'd hear back. There really was a culture of punk equality... of course, we were quite harsh to people who used the platform to say stupid things (and, since I was young, I said stupid things a lot), because that's requisite if you want to stay relatively meritocratic. The internet was smaller in the 1990s and there were far fewer ways to make money from it, but it was legitimately subversive.

We've lost that, though. Twitter used to be a way for nobodies to gain a degree of influence. Now it's the opposite--instead, it measures and ratifies our lack of influence, because every time you apply for a job, the bosses know that you're no threat if mistreated--the fact that you only have 3,000 followers, as opposed to 100,000, proves that.

The internet and the web didn't fix capitalism; instead, to the detriment of all of us, it ended up looking like capitalism. The technology grew up too fast; our moribund economic system hadn't died yet (and still hasn't). This was bad enough, but if capitalism is still around when we see AGI (granted, I don't think that'll actually happen for at least a hundred years) we are properly and irreversibly facefucked.