All social media companies are bad, but some are successful. The older ones like Meta and Twitter have fallen on difficult times for many reasons. They are bad companies doing badly. And the new kid on the block, TikTok, has gotten all the wrong attention recently. It’s a bad company doing well, at least in some aspects. Let’s talk a look.
Meta/Facebook: Meta continues to do poorly, and I for one am glad about this. Remember, no matter how stupid Twitter is or how creepy tiktok is, Meta/Facebook is all that and worse. For how they are creepy, read this on the slow death of surveillance capitalism in WiReD. Or this bit of outrageousness on how GoodRx leaked user Health data to Facebook and Google (Google is also bad.) And it is not just GoodRx: Cerebral did it too. Sure health web sites like GoodRx and Cerebral are horrible, but the social media companies facilitated it.
As for stupid, just think of the metaverse. Or don’t. Disney is giving up. More will too. And that will lead to more Facebook/Meta layoffs.
Tiktok: Tiktok continues to be under fire politically. And Mark Z would love to see it get shut down and replace it with Instagram Reels.
Despite all that, it continues to thrive, and things that take off there really take off. For example, here’s a piece on how Sofia Coppola’s daughter went viral with her one cooking tiktok. TikTok gets our attention.
For some companies, it gets too much attention. So they panic when they see people are using tiktok to definfluence others, for example.
Other Tiktok pieces that got my attention: this piece on Olivia Dunne, college gymnast has 6.7 million TikTok followers. I don’t, but Some people like Cory Doctorow. If you are one of them, you will like his piece on Tiktok’s enshittification. Speaking of crappy, this is on borg drinking and tiktok. Young people being dumb is not news: the innovative ways they are dumb is.
Twitter: Let’s not forget good ole twitter: Elmo Musk continues to drive the company into the ground. Twitter ad sales plunged 46% while TikTok Pinterest gained. What a genius he is. He’s saving the company money by falling behind on rent. And laying off staff. Firing top engineers. And employing his “extremely hardcore” approach. Then he follows up with more layoffs, including Esther Crawford, who made a big deal about being hardcore and sleeping on the office floor in a sleeping bag. That worked well.
All those layoffs were good for system stability. NOT. Some stuff on the twitter outages can be found here and here (on how a single engineer brought twitter down).
No wonder people headed for the exits. Initially more than a million people switched to Mastodon. That lead to things like this: Movetodon: Find your Twitter Friends on Mastodon this. Even Medium got into the act and opened mastodon subscription memberships.
Additionally here’s two pieces on their tech. One on their API and one on their rss feed. Enjoy while you can. David Crosby did. He was great on using twitter.
Finally: here’s a piece on how a community came to a Toronto restaurant’s defence after one-star review. Good for them. Online reviews mostly suck.
And hey, let’s not leave off Substack. In January they said: Don’t start a year. Start a Substack. I guess.