Facebook and others trying to copy TikTok may be the end of the platforms. The question of whether or not TikTok’s President of Global Business Solutions, Blake Chandlee was concerned about competition from already established social media networks like Facebook was posed to him around a month ago.
Chandlee thought the notion was ridiculous. He had previously worked for more than twelve years at Mark Zuckerberg’s firm before going on to TikTok. “Facebook is a platform for social interaction.
He was alluding to the network of linkages to friends, family, and casual acquaintances. This is, that Facebook users meticulously create over the course of time when he made his statement. “They’ve developed all of their algorithms based on the social graph,” he stated. “We are a platform for providing enjoyment. There is a big gap between the two.“
It seems as though Chandlee was making a comment in response to recent actions taken by Facebook. During the course of the previous year, the business included a TikTok-like video format. This is known as Reels right into its primary app. Then, in the spring of this year, Tom Alison, a senior executive at the social media giant, announced a plan to modify the platform’s news feed. This is to focus more on these short videos.
He also announced a plan to modify the algorithm to display the most engaging content. This is even if these selections are “unconnected” to accounts that a user has friended or followed. This plan was made public in an internal memo that was sent this spring.
Facebook and others trying to copy TikTok may be the end of the platforms
It would appear that Facebook is shifting away from its usual concentration on text and photographs. These are distributed among individuals who already know one another, and instead adopt TikTok’s emphasis on purely distracting content in its place.
This shift is not surprising given the phenomenal popularity of TikTok, but it is shortsighted: platforms such as Facebook could be doomed if they fail to maintain the social graphs upon which they built their kingdoms. TikTok is a platform that allows users to upload short videos to share with their followers.
It is helpful to have a better understanding of Facebook’s first success. This is in order to better comprehend the current threat that it poses. In the spring of 2004, when several of my undergraduate friends joined TheFacebook.com, which was then known by a different name. They did so because they noticed that other people they knew were also joining. (The option to check the “relationship status” of fellow students was one of the platform’s early killer features. It already had 12 million users who were actively logging in to their accounts. This is when Facebook opened to the public in 2006.
At that time, the advantages of network effects made it difficult for a competitor to develop. So, two years later, when Facebook had one hundred million active users, competition became nearly impossible. Why would you sign up for a new social network that focuses on connecting you with people you already know if everyone you know is already using Facebook?
Twitter was the impetus for the subsequent significant evolution of this concept. This involves making use of a social network in order to generate interaction. This text-messaging service didn’t become well known until 2009. This is despite the fact that it has been available for use since 2006.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
The year in question was the one in which Ashton Kutcher appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to discuss Twitter.
It was also the year when reports broke that an official from the United States State Department had emailed the corporation. They requested it to delay planned server maintenance so as not to interfere with planned democratic demonstrations in Iran. This information became public in the same year.
The launch of the retweet button in 2009 was, without a doubt, the most significant development for Twitter in 2009. This is in contrast to the media bonanza that occurred in 2009.
The fundamental structure of Twitter was fundamentally altered. This is as a result of a modification that was introduced with the intention. That is, the intention of streamlining the routine task of manually copying and pasting the content of intriguing tweets.
A single tweet could be amplified to a large audience in a short period of time. This is thanks to the retweet button. This button eliminated the friction required to forward a message to all of your followers. This caused the number of people who read the tweet to grow exponentially. This is due to the power-law structure of the Twitter network.
It turned out that this was a great way to bring to light the most interesting information. That is, information that was going around the platform at any given time. Because it was easy to reach a large number of people quickly, the platform started to attract more well-known people. This made the content it hosted more valuable.
Facebook Newsfeed Adjustments
The same thing happened with Twitter as its user base grew. That is, in the same way that Facebook’s social graph got more appealing as it expanded. Candidates for the throne of brief messages, such as Parler and Gab, have had a difficult time gaining traction. This is because their networks did not have a large enough scale or a large enough number of powerful users to compete effectively in the war for attention.
By 2011, Twitter had reached the milestone of one hundred million users. This follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which had achieved this feat the previous year.
Naturally, Facebook took note of this new rival’s meteoric growth in popularity and immediately began making necessary improvements. Between the years 2009 and 2011, Facebook made gradual changes to its news feed. It shifts its emphasis from chronological ordering to a greater focus on the most popular postings.
Then, in 2012, it added a “Share” button that worked similarly to Twitter’s retweet function on its mobile app. This made it possible for third-party material to rapidly spread over the network in the same manner as on Twitter.
Both Facebook and Twitter were created on the same basic premise. This involved using difficult-to-replicate, enormous social graphs to generate an endless stream of interesting material. This technique proved to be resilient in the face of new competitors and has proven to be extremely profitable.
Because of this, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, had a market capitalization of $562 billion. This is at the end of last month, making it the ninth most valuable firm in the world. It is also the reason why Elon Musk thought Twitter, a social media network that is smaller and more specialized, was still worth forty-four billion dollars (before he changed his mind).
Pseudomonopolies of this sort, on the other hand, are not sustainable in the long run. TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity over the past year may prove to be the game-changer. That is, it brings an end to the reign of the social media giants that have dominated the industry. This is for the better part of the last decade.
When you open the TikTok app on your phone or tablet, a short film that is usually much shorter than one minute and takes up the whole screen appears. When you are ready to watch something else, simply swipe up, and a new video that was chosen just for you by the recommendation system of the service is pushed in to take over the display. Whenever you are ready to view something new, you may do either.
You will see a frenzied series of swipes. That is, if you examine a TikTok session over the shoulder of an experienced user. The majority of videos are only seen for a few minutes. This is to determine whether or not they are appealing, and then they are swiped away to see what else is available.
The efficiency of the TikTok experience may be gleaned from the things that are not necessarily necessary to have. TikTok, in contrast to Twitter, does not require a significant number of well-known or prominent individuals to utilize the platform for its content to be considered engaging.
The short-video format captures the user’s attention on a more fundamental level. It does this by depending on visual novelty, or a deft interplay of music and action. Also, direct emotional expression, all of which contribute to the format’s overall appeal.
How TikTok presides over others
In addition, unlike Facebook, using TikTok does not require you to have friends who also use the site in order for you to find value in doing so. TikTok does have certain social capabilities, but they are not the app’s primary selling point. The app’s primary selling point is its ability to create short videos. TikTok doesn’t rely on its users to manually share interesting content with their friends or followers.
This duty is delegated to the organization’s terrifyingly effective recommendation algorithm. The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation in 2021 in which reporters created more than one hundred TikTok accounts in order to tease out the fundamental dynamics of this suggestion logic.
The investigation showed that the app can target a user’s interests with uncanny accuracy after only forty minutes of observation.
By rejecting the social-graph model, TikTok has been able to avoid the entrance hurdles that effectively safeguarded early social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This refusal has made it possible for TikTok to do so.
TikTok is able to immediately compete for users because it has separated the functions of diversion and social connection. This allows it to do so without having to first carefully build up an underlying network, link by link. This attention-getting blitzkrieg appears to be quite successful, according to all sources.
It is estimated that TikTok has one billion active monthly users, a number that it achieved in a staggeringly short amount of time. Furthermore, according to some reports, it boasts an average session length of 10.85 minutes, which, if true, would be far longer than that of any other major social media app.
TikTok was created by a Chinese company called Musical.ly, which was acquired by Chinese tech giant Tencent in 2018.
During this time, the market value of Facebook’s parent company recently dropped by more than 230 billion dollars in a single day after the firm reported that user growth had leveled out. According to analysts’ findings, TikTok is a significant contributor to this slowdown.
Traditional social media firms like Facebook are placed in a precarious position as a result of these recent changes. It is evident that their investors will be outraged if they do not take steps to stop the migration of users from their platforms to TikTok, and values will continue to decline if they do not take these steps.
This change can explain why Facebook is moving away from friend groups and toward short videos and algorithmic suggestions of content that doesn’t come from friends.
However, the longer-term risk posed by moving away from the connection-centric strategy that has been so successful for the firm is one that might be less clear at first glance.
It is extremely doubtful at this time that a new rival would ever again be able to establish a social network of a size or a degree of impact similar to that of heritage platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It is simply too difficult to start from scratch when these mature services already exist.
As a result, as long as these legacy platforms continue to derive the majority of their value from the networks upon which they are built, they will continue to enjoy monopolistic protection of some kind within the context of the larger attention economy.
Gen-Z sensation BeReal
If they choose to shift away from their social-graph foundations and instead focus on optimizing in-the-moment engagement, they will enter a competitive landscape that will pit them directly against the many other existing sources of mobile distraction.
These sources include not only TikTok but also more bespoke and specialized social networks, such as the Gen-Z sensation BeReal, to say nothing of popular video streamers, podcasts, video games, and self-improvement apps. For somewhat older demographics, there are also
All of this leads to a future that may be plausible in which social media giants such as Facebook may soon be past their lengthy run of dominance. They will keep looking for new ways to get people to engage with them, even though doing so means giving up the safety of their social networks. In the end, they will give in to the new competitive pressures.
TikTok is, of course, susceptible to the same kinds of forces, which means that in this potential future, it, too, will ultimately become obsolete. Due to how enthusiastically the app embraces shallowness, it is more likely that it will become the answer to a trivia question than a long-lasting cultural force.
Because of the chaos caused by these sinkings, new forms of entertainment and ways to pass the time will appear, as well as ground-breaking new ways to express yourself and connect with others.
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Social Media Monopolies
My search for positivity has led me to this place. The current era of social media monopolies has been detrimental to our collective survival in the digital realm. At its best, the Internet should be strange, energizing, and exciting. It should have both native quirks and spontaneous fads that flare as brightly as a supernova before exploding into new ideas and connections.
This enthusiasm was stifled as a result of the dominance of a limited number of social media networks, which had consolidated and dominated a significant portion of online culture for a significant number of years. Things will begin to improve when this dominant position begins to weaken.
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In the end, TikTok’s greatest legacy may not be so much about its current moment of world-conquering success, which will pass, but rather about how, by forcing social-media giants like Facebook to chase its model, it will end up liberating the social Internet. This is because TikTok forced Facebook to chase its model, which in turn forced Facebook to chase its model.
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