Facebook, Twitter: What would happen if the social network ended? – rts.ch
With cascading exits and chaos at Twitter, layoffs and inventory market falls for the father or mother firms of Meta, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the way forward for social networks appears bleak. Is this the starting of the finish? Decryption.
There is Facebook. With a lack of momentum and an sudden Metaverse technique, the blue big is shedding 11,000 staff. And then there’s Twitter. After shedding half of his 7,500 workers, Elon Musk issued an ultimatum to those that remained, asking them to “work lengthy hours at excessive depth”. The billionaire’s request triggered a cascade of exits.
Is this the starting of the finish for these platforms? In a context of obvious decline, the speculation shouldn’t be far-fetched. Because we’re already residing at the finish of a sure idea we’ve social networks.
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Two many years of historical past
Who nonetheless remembers the progenitor of social networks, Friendster, born in 2002 and its 115 million customers? Who nonetheless remembers MySpace, born in 2003 and the one which “killed” the pal after which was overtaken by Facebook?
In the early 2000s, social media was the major Internet expertise for many of us. With a dedication: to attach, construct or deepen relationships with pals, household and work colleagues.
And there was Facebook
But how did Mark Zuckerberg’s network destroy MySpace?
“Network Effect” (Editor’s word: network impact), which means that the utility of a service is measured by the variety of customers.
To obtain this, Facebook is beginning with a distinct segment market, which is college students at American universities like Harvard. It opened to different universities earlier than turning into accessible to all in September 2006. Facebook’s success lies in its use of native network results. And then Mark Zuckerberg shouldn’t be mistaken to consider that the variety of customers is essential. No, for him it is the high quality of their relationship.
MySpace allowed individuals to attach with individuals throughout the world, however we did not comprehend it. Facebook’s genius was to supply us a spot the place we might meet our pals, our household, our colleagues.
Facebook has thus succeeded in questioning the idea of 6 levels of separation, which asserts that each particular person in the world is linked to a different by a series of a most of 6 hyperlinks. With Facebook we’re at 3.57, we learn.
Thanks to Facebook, we all know the whole world at 3.57 levels of separation. [Facebook – DR]
The world of social networks is small. small
And there was the “Like” button
In 2009 every part modified. We had been someplace between the creation of smartphones (2007) and the launch of Instagram (2010).
The “Like” button appeared on Facebook in 2009 and adjusted our relationship to on-line life eternally. They develop into a numbers contest. Get as many “likes” as attainable. You should have many pals.
>> Hear extra: The extra of the “Like” button
Another change, given the quantity of content material produced, is that Facebook’s News Feed defaults to algorithmic relatively than chronological sorting. To have the ability to stand the fixed circulate of knowledge, you must feed the machine. The greater the crowd, the extra probably it’s to be heard.
The rise of social media
Social networks thus develop into social media, as Ian Bogost explains in a broadcast article. “Social media has turned you, me and everybody into broadcasters (even if they’re aspiring). The outcomes have been disastrous however very gratifying, to not point out large earnings – a disastrous mixture,” he wrote.
So we lose our sense of the network of human relationships, we go to Facebook and Twitter to get data. Facebook turns its “social graph” of individuals’s relationships right into a cash-making machine for advertisers who goal their adverts very exactly because of our information. It’s the consideration financial system.
Virtuous cycles develop into vicious.
Important mobilization instruments throughout civil uprisings, Twitter and Facebook are slowly turning into a driving pressure for extremism, paranoia, hate speech and harassment. Social media is in an existential disaster.
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This development is strengthened by the current choices of Instagram and Facebook to repeat TikTook and its content material suggestion algorithm. We are shifting in the direction of mass digital media, providing movies to our unknown customers, processed by machine studying. A sure idea of Facebook and Twitter, which dates again to the 2010s, is disappearing.
>> Also pay attention: Elon Musk’s challenge for Twitter
We is not going to quit on creating content material and sharing it with others, social media shouldn’t be going away however it should nonetheless evolve. Social media is making a resurgence with the presence of different actors like Mastodon who left Twitter after Elon Musk’s takeover and are turning to extra customers.
Human nature is not going to basically change, we are going to nonetheless be social creatures and our on-line behaviors will adapt to new applied sciences.