The Bridge: Instagram is circling the drain, and Meta (the artist formerly known as Facebook) might be a full-on failure to launch. So what’s a young person to do? Fortunately, there are alternatives on the rise – and a subculture of people who think we should ditch social media altogether.
“Make Instagram Instagram Again” was trending last week, in response to the platform’s attempts to piggyback the popularity of rival app TikTok. The masses aren’t having it, though – after being shared by one of the Jenners, the company publicly walked back plans to continue to chase the video platform model. Guess why?
Because nobody logs onto Instagram to watch 10 second videos. That’s simply not what the platform is for. They want to see DIY arts and crafts, vacation pics, and snaps of their friends.
And don’t even get us started on Meta. In an unsurprising continuation of the slow downward spiral, Sandberg is officially out, Zuck is under free-speech subpoena, and the company is reporting a 2.8 billion dollar Q2 loss. Is it any surprise people are a little nervous about entering the universe they’re trying to build?
Finally, despite the well-documented fact that China is siphoning user data from TikTok, it remains the most hyped platform in existence today. The science is slow to catch up, but already there have been alarms raised about how we are essentially drugging ourselves with this app.
The Digital Grass is Always Greener
Meanwhile, Be Real, a newcomer to the social media game, is making waves. Built around the novel idea of spontaneous posting, the app sends a random notification once a day and allows the user to snap one photo within a two minute window. This is to promote “authenticity” in a world saturated with paid influencers and airbrushed everything.
There’s been pushback – the loudest is probably Be Real competitors attempting to stymie the changing of the guard. Boring people tend to be easily bored – that’s not a failing of the app, it’s a failing of the imagination of those using it.
Gen-Z is sharp – they won’t let something obviously destructive linger. So what shape will the future of social media take? Time will tell!
Got any guesses? Let us know @thegenbridge!