Social media has increased exponentially over the last two decades, where we see a rise in popularity from its viewers, all increasing in age range. Social media has a spot for everyone, creating thousands upon thousands of niche communities online where one can circulate their own opinion and share it amongst like-minded people. We as a society have been given access to an archive of information, one is constantly being updated and one that cannot be slowed down. Companies not only created social media platforms for entertainment purposes, but in order to keep that very source of desire continuous, algorithms were created. The algorithm now knows what keeps your interest, what you would rather see, and posts that one can personally and easily engage with.
Every trend that follows the consumer’s capitalistic mentality, we end up seeing a surplus variation of what is essentially the same thing. Every platform has its own competitor, creating a format almost identical to the next. We see apps like TikTok taking over, and now 30 second reels on Instagram were added to keep viewers’ attention to continue using their app. Every platform has its own competitor, creating a format almost identical to the next. We see apps like TikTok taking over, and now 30 second reels on Instagram are more of a thing. This phenomenon is taking a thing once unique to a certain platform/company to a common app feature. Surely the ever changing social media platforms that do exist, simply exist for a reason. We use apps like Snapchat to communicate through pictures. We use apps like Snapchat to communicate with timed pictures. We go to Twitter to access a variety of comments, as well as political and social news. We, the audience, attunes to this pattern as a way to access the kind of entertainment we are searching for.
It would be absolutely ridiculous to assume that the Weather app would have other basic assets like posting abilities, consumers want a one and done thing. Every app through the consumer’s mind serves its purpose. Instagram is for sharing photos, Tiktok is for sharing videos, YouTube is for sharing longer videos and so forth. We don’t need all apps to have all the same features, while it does attract viewers it also disinterests them at the same time. There is no originality to creating apps anymore. Everyone is always taking the trending idea from the most recent successful app in instilling it on their own. Creating a platform is an art in of itself, which should be noted. I don’t think it’s fair to have companies repeatedly create the same content service, as that disables individuality and creativity.
While this may not seem like a problem, consider this: we have so many apps that are created to do essentially all the same thing. But we only have a few types of creators you are interested in at a given time. It doesn’t make sense for that same contact creator to be on five apps all at once. No one wants to surf through apps trying to access the same content. It’s like streaming a movie that was on Netflix, looking for it on Hulu, and five other streaming platforms hoping that the 40 dollars a month on 8 different streaming services grants you access to view that movie. It’s not manageable. For a society that does like to create, it just seems like we’re going in circles. The evidence is clear, we have apps dying out faster because it becomes all too overwhelming. I don’t need Snapchat to be like TikTok and Instagram. It’s just an oversaturation of the same thing. The only people benefiting from it are big companies, stealing a platform idea that is meant to ignite a new passion amongst its content creators. It is being viciously stolen by big companies like Meta, for example. The big companies on these platforms are making all the profit. While I can see the financial aspect of how this could be beneficial, how can this be beneficial for Content creators and viewers? If I come out with an app idea, it can easily be stolen by a bigger app that has more access to marketing strategies and overall more notoriety. It’s an unfair game. A game that isn’t regulated, and needs to be at least recognized and noticed. At the moment, society is still conforming to this idea that it’s a free-for-all when constructing apps that bring a lot of attention, you can essentially make the same app and just call it a different name. Either we make the change, or we wait for the change to happen. At one point, this crime will be justified, and there will come a time where apps are shut down just because they are too similar to another app. For right now, all we can do is raise awareness and fight for the small businesses, continue using their apps if they promote originality and don’t use any of the features if they’re stolen. And while it is exhausting, trying to keep up with this ever-changing web of ideas, it’s important to slow down and realize that everything has its purpose, and although companies do get greedy and want their app to be everything, it won’t be if we speak up.
3 thoughts on “Social Media Platforms”
Social media itself is a creepy thing, I agree with the idea that it recognizes your likes and interest and continue from there. Not only that, I also realized what you had mentioned about apps being super alike. Having the same features in different apps does make it feel overwhelming to the point that makes me realize that I no longer need social media at times. I also think that copyright laws will make a difference in that, since there would be more originality in apps and content creators. Especially for Hulu, Netflix, etc It becomes too much. It gets boring!
I agree 100% with this article. Instagram, snapchat, tiktok, facebook etc. are all merging into 1 app. It is very exhausting as an ‘early gen z’ who witnessed the growth of facebook and snapchat etc, including them adding all the similar and trending features to its own. It’s been capitalism speaking and therefore there really isn’t much for us to do except waiting for all these similar apps implode altogether. This is almost analogous to SHEIN, the fashion brand that manufactures every trending garment the second it blows up. I do wonder when originality will become the ‘trend’ again.
While I can understand where this article is coming from, I don’t think adding more copyright laws is the answer. It makes sense that companies want their apps to have it all, and while I can understand the desire to protect small businesses, a lot of the ideas you mention are far to general to be subject to copyright in my opinion. Perhaps Instagram reels is based off of TikTok, but for any business to be able to copyright a certain length or format of video sharing seems excessive. As a viewer and occasional content creator, I don’t find this to be detrimental to my use of apps in the ways you suggest