Tag Archives: socialmedia

Instragram = advertising

Each social media has an implicit purpose. The stronger ones have a purpose that is clear. Facebook: stay connected to family and friends; LinkedIn: connect with employees/employers. For Instagram, the purpose is advertising. For most people, it is advertising your life. For certain people, with many many followers, it is advertising products.

To get a sense of how much Instagram is about advertising, see this: Confessions of an Instagram Influencer – Bloomberg. While many of us are amateurs at advertising on Instagram, this article will show you how the pros go about it.

I have often looked at people Instagram proposes I follow and I have wondered why people take the photos they do. This article helps explain that. It also helps one understand why some people’s photos look nothing like yours.

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How to stop Whatsapp from sharing information with Facebook 

Instructions are here as to how to stop Whatsapp from sharing information with Facebook.

Facebook owns Whatsapp. I expect this simple opt out may not be so simple in the months and years to come. You may have to make a harder choice then when it comes to privacy on Whatsapp. In the meantime, you can follow those instructions to maintain the separation between your Whatsapp data and your Facebook data.

Some big changes on twitter

Two new things: 1) a quality filter 2) notification settings. While people are talking a lot about the first one, I think the second one might just be the thing most people need. For more details, see this: New Ways to Control Your Experience on Twitter | Twitter Blogs

How the ‘Spicy Boi’ comments on Hillary’s Instagram shows the difficulty of dealing with trolls

To see what I mean, read this piece in NYMag, Everyone Is Commenting ‘Spicy Boi’ on Hillary’s Instagram. Note how the social networks cross over the various platforms. The social organization of this activity goes from platform (iFunny) to platform (Twitter) to platform (Instagram). No doubt at some point it will appear on Reddit, 4chan, and who knows where else. It’s very hard to deal with trolls when you have people on one platform (e.g. Twitter) trying to control things, yet you can have social groups planning raids, etc. on other platforms.

Three thoughts:

  • the comment section for big accounts on Instagram is next to useless. I wonder why it is even enabled for them? I think they should disable it, or give the user the option to disable it.
  • In many cases, the comment sections should be limited to such things as “Likes” or “Thumbs Up” or simple polls.
  • Social media needs to involve either really good AI or (better) really good people to moderate things. It can’t happen soon enough.

Twitter: a former bar you used to love and now visit nostalgically

I’ve likely said enough about twitter. So much so, that there doesn’t seem much else to say. I wanted to highlight this comic, though (the long, slow death of Twitter | Technology | The Guardian) because it wonderfully sums up the arc of Twitter over the years. It matches my thoughts and feelings about the platform very well.

I still come to Twitter, the way you go to a bar you used to love. There’s not as many friends there as there was before, but there are still some. It becomes as much a visit to experience nostalgia as anything else. But then the shouters and the fighters show up and you remember why you lost your interest in it.

More on the decline of Twitter from a variety of sources

From the New Yorker and Business Insider. A rebuttal here, on Medium, and also Slate.

My take is a simple one: most people are interacting less on Twitter. This likely leads to people contributing less on Twitter, which leads to a downwards spiral. I see this on other social media as well.

The one exception to those interacting less are active self promoters. Self promoters, whether doing it personally or professionally, are still interacting regularly with social media such as Twitter. After all, it’s free and it’s better than doing nothing.

Overall, though, I expect there to be a decline in use of all kinds of social media, until someone can invent a social media that is more effective than what we have today. That may be a few years off.

On Facebook, the company

Facebook is a company. It’s not Mark Zuckerberg. It’s not an app you use on your phone. It’s a collection of services that is growing rapidly and it may be poised to grow at even crazier rates than it has now, if you believe what is in this piece, Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan For The Future Of Facebook. Key point it raises:

The Facebook of today—and tomorrow—is far more expansive than it was just a few years ago. It’s easy to forget that when the company filed to go public on February 1, 2012, it was just a single website and an app that the experts weren’t sure could ever be profitable. Now, “a billion and a half people use the main, core Facebook service, and that’s growing. But 900 million people use WhatsApp, and that’s an important part of the whole ecosystem now,” Zuckerberg says. “Four hundred million people use Instagram, 700 million people use Messen­ger, and 700 million people use Groups. Increasingly, we’re just going to go more and more in this direction.”

Reading this, you get the sense of a company that is going to bigger in a few years than it is now, which seems incredible to me. Note this article: it will be worth revisiting in a few years.

That said,  there are a few points I’d like to add:

  1. I actually think that Facebook the app/website is declining in active usage. It is very clever showing you things people like, even if people you know aren’t posting things. You get a sense of activity on Facebook the app/website whenever you log in. You never get the sense that it is not being used by people, even if many of the people you follow aren’t actively contributing at all. I suspect if you dropped your Facebook friends down to next to none it would still show you the same amount of information. If Facebook the company is going to remain successful, it needs to diversify from it’s main service.
  2. It is interesting that people continue to compare Twitter to Facebook. To me, there is little to compare. Facebook seems to have a better growth plan and even have a better app. If Facebook the service declines, the diversification into places like WhatsApp and Instagram is strong in a way that is unlikely to be matched by services like Vine or Periscope. While there is some commonality between the two companies, I think the story of their divergence will become a bigger one over time. Contributing to that big difference is Facebook remains a stable company with a stable leadership while Twitter’s leadership remains chaotic and unstable.
  3. The narrative in that story is very optimistic. If the numbers for any of those organizations start to slip, I could see the narrative changing, just like it has for so many IT companies. Right now the narrative is: Facebook is a very successful company and it is going to become more successful with all these promising ideas. The narrative can easily become: Facebook is a very troubled company and it is going to become more troubled with all these ideas doomed to fail. (See Yahoo! for an example of such a narrative.)