How capitalism killed the social media of abundance



Christianna Silva

We killed Instagram. And we’ll kill the next social media beast, too.

In 2010, we were given a platform that did relatively few things: You could edit photos and post them on a grid, and your friends could comment on them. Even then we wanted it to change. We wanted DMs and Instagram Stories and more editing options and better search and an explore page. Tech executives wanted us addicted to it, wanted us to crave it, wanted it to be a necessary tool in our everyday social existence so advertisers would be able to reach us and Mark Zuckerberg could get another electric hydrofoil surfboard. As the app expanded to incorporate all of those desires, we turned into Violet Beauregarde, rolling around the floor, livid that the platform we’d begged to change had changed too much. If the expression «take a bad thing and make it worse» had no meaning, Meta’s existence alone would afford it one.

Hating Instagram is also as integral to the platform’s existence as being able to post a photo. Like senior Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings wrote in The Goods: «Being mad at Instagram is sort of like being mad at the president: Venting your frustrations about it is both a cathartic and logical response to a seemingly insurmountable problem, the problem of too much power in the hands of too few people.»

But over the past few weeks, what started as a complaint a decade ago has become a chorus of fury. Users are tired of Instagram and its parent company Meta copying the features of other apps. First it was Snapchat, and now it’s TikTok and BeReal — a social media platform with the explicit intent of being more realistic than Instagram that consistently falls short of doing so. In an effort to replicate these apps’ successes, the latest Instagram and Facebook updates simply exhausted users by, among other things, prioritizing «recommended» videos from creators you don’t care about, shoving incessant ads and sponsored content in front of our eyes, and trying out expanded posts that take up more space on our screens. Photographer Tati Bruening made a post demanding that we «Make Instagram Instagram Again.» It was shared by some of the platform’s most powerful users, including Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. The post has more than 2.25 million likes, and the coordinated petition has nearly 300,000 signatures.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, addressed the criticism in a video, and in an interview with tech reporter Casey Newton, he said Instagram would phase out a TikTok-y redesign and temporarily show users fewer «recommended» videos in the feed. But that change is only temporary, and by the end of 2023, Zuckerberg said that the number of «recommended» posts on Instagram will more than double.

Seguir yendo: Mashable

Imagen de la entrada de svklimkin en Pixabay