The Perils of Audience Capture [Content Made Simple]
Issue #279: How to use Instagram, the long tail and niche, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK
The Perils of Audience Capture
This is the ultimate trapdoor in the hall of fame; to become a prisoner of one's own persona. The desire for recognition in an increasingly atomized world lures us to be who strangers wish us to be. And with personal development so arduous and lonely, there is ease and comfort in crowdsourcing your identity. But amid such temptations, it's worth remembering that when you become who your audience expects at the expense of who you are, the affection you receive is not intended for you but for the character you're playing, a character you'll eventually tire of. And so be warned: being someone often means being fake, and if you chase the approval of others, you may, in the end, lose the approval of yourself.
The leader in the clubhouse for my favorite article of the year. I don’t know how I missed it from earlier this summer. But it’s great.
THE TRIVIA QUESTION
For what movie did Steven Spielberg win his first Oscar for Best Director?
Answer is linked at the bottom.
HITTING THE LINKS
Link #1: How the Head of Facebook Plans to Compete With TikTok and Win Back Gen Z
Interesting article/interview. No way they do it.
Before I led the Facebook app, I was immersing myself in all of the young adult research and working with the team. We saw that there was a big generational trend happening in how people want to use social media. Just as background, the way we define “young adults” is anybody in the age range of 18 to 29 years old. Now Facebook itself is around 18 years old, so we are talking about a generation that grew up with social media, using it and learning how to integrate it into their lives in different ways than I did.
Link #2: How to See More of What You Want on Instagram
When a social media platform has to publish a blog post about how to use the platform correctly……
One of the ways we personalize your feed is by predicting how likely you are to do something with a post you see. The more likely you are to take an action, and the more heavily we weigh that action, the higher up you’ll see the post in your feed. There are many interactions we take into consideration, but five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, reshare it, and tap on the profile photo.
Link #3: The Long Tail: The Internet and the Business of Niche
I may write about this some time! Super insightful.
The concept of the long tail remains one of the best investing frameworks for internet companies. Many of the most successful technology companies in history have been built on the long tail. Google and Facebook turn to small businesses for the lion’s share of their advertising revenue. Ebay grew by tapping into a variety of niche interests and markets. Some of our most successful investments at Index have harnessed the power of niche: Etsy showed that a lot of people are interested in buying (and making) artisanal products; GOAT showed that sneakers are a deceptively large market; Discord has 19 million (!) weekly active servers.
THE FUNNY PART
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I look forward to this issue each week! Thanks for passing along such interesting articles. The Perils of Audience Capture was especially good.