Why Social Media is Getting Less Social

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter started as ways for people to keep track of what their friends are doing. But increasingly, users are being forced to interact with brands and influencers as social media becomes more “corporatised”. 

A new column from The New York Times highlights that “in many ways, becoming less social”. Users nowadays rarely sees posts from their friends’ holidays or special occasions, and increasingly see content from organisations paying their way onto the newsfeed.

Established social media platforms are also increasingly looking to monetise their users in new ways, for example Twitter’s new premium subscription features. 

As a result of this, “some users have started seeking community-oriented sites and apps devoted to specific hobbies and issues”, the column stated. For example, networks like Mastodon, Nextdoor, and Truth Social have grown in popularity.

Mastodon facilitates networking in smaller communities, based around gaming or food for example. Its Chief Executive told The New York Times that users create over 1 billion posts a month, without any algorithms or ads being pushed.

The development of these smaller platforms, which segment people into their professional side, their personal side, their gaming interest, their daily news, etc is seen to be the future. 

Zizi Papacharissi, a communications professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, told The New York Times that these “platforms as we knew them are over” and that “they have outlived their utility”. Do you agree?

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