Quit Twitter [Content Made Simple]

Issue #228: Social network identity crisis, TikTok trumps all, and more.





Twitter is a parasite that burrows deep into your brain, training you to respond to the constant social feedback of likes and retweets. That takes only a week or two. Human psychology is pathetically simple to manipulate. Once you’re hooked, the parasite becomes your master, and it changes the way you think. Even now, I’m dopesick, dying to go back.

Twitter did something that I would not have thought possible: It stole reading from me. What is it stealing from you?


Just a tremendous essay here from Caitlin Flanagan. I haven’t quit Twitter entirely, but I have managed to detach the insidious worm from my brain, I think, so that I can seize back the mental energy that it so easily sapped. Please read this piece and ask the question Caitlin asks at the end: What is Twitter (or any social media) stealing from you?


Link #1: Social Networks Face Identity Crisis

Great reporting from Sarah Fischer on some of the changing tides being felt in the social media space right now. Platforms are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit into a space sort of upended by TikTok and its explosion during the pandemic.

Tech giants are scrambling to figure out how to stay competitive in a world that's now dominated by dozens of networking apps, all catering to different interests.

Driving the news: Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said Thursday the app — long known as a venue for people to share filtered photos — is "no longer just a square photo-sharing app."

The focus moving forward will be on new features for creators, video, shopping and messaging, he said. "The number one reason people say they use Instagram is to be entertained."

Link #2: People Now Spend More Time On TikTok Than YouTube, Facebook, Netflix

In line with the previous article, TikTok is really taking over!

For example, in 2019, Facebook users spent an average of 15.5 hours per month on its app, while TikTok users spent an average of 12.8 hours per month. By 2020, TikTok’s engagement had nearly doubled: its users spent an average of 21.5 hours per month. Facebook’s average time per user had grown by a mere two hours in the same timeframe.

Link #3: Nextdoor Is Going Public

I think there is great promise for more hyperlocal platforms like Nextdoor well into the future. As people become more discouraged by global platforms like Twitter and Facebook, I think people will start to use Nextdoor and other such apps for much more than noise complaints or pleas for lost dogs to be found.

Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network in more than 275,000 global communities, announced that is has agreed to go public via a SPAC sponsored by Khosla Ventures — at an implied valuation of $4.3 billion.

Why it matters: Nextdoor has managed to avoid much of the scrutiny aimed at larger networks like Facebook and Twitter.


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