World News

Has Social Media, as We Once Knew It, Met Its Demise?

Social media, as originally intended, is undergoing changes. The traditional social platforms where users could post anything and receive appreciation are now shifting towards sharing within private groups due to the curated feeds prioritized by the platforms. This may come as a surprise to new social media consumers, but content creators and analysts have a different perspective on the matter. Many are discouraged by this trend. Tati Bruening, a photographer and content creator on Instagram, expressed frustration with the platform curating her feed with professional pictures while disregarding more personal posts, such as cooking a dish of green beans. She believes the problem lies with the platform’s algorithm, which was introduced to compete with TikTok. The algorithm now prioritizes algorithmically suggested posts instead of displaying feeds chronologically. Bruening launched a campaign called “Make Instagram Instagram Again” in 2022, urging Meta (the parent company of Instagram) to reverse the algorithm. The campaign garnered support from thousands of users, including celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian. However, despite the campaign’s popularity, Instagram continued with its new trend, transforming into a well-curated platform with meticulously planned content. To counter this, regular users have turned to private groups and features like Close Friends, where they feel safe sharing photos and being themselves without the pressure to be perfect. Bruening believes there is a hidden layer of Instagram that remains true to its original promise but is not visible to the general public. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, confirmed this observation, stating that users now prefer direct messages, group chats, and closed communities. As a result, regular postings are done by influencers and content creators, while non-creators prefer sharing their lives with private groups. In conclusion, social media, as it was once known, is dead. While Instagram continues to be a dynamic platform, the focus has shifted from being “social” to being “media.” Users have learned to use filters, editing tools, and curation, transforming the platform from an enjoyable, unedited space to one where standing out and being cool are critical. Instagram’s rules have also changed, with a shift towards prioritizing videos, live-streaming, and shopping. This transformation, combined with the pandemic, has led to average users feeling that the bar for posting has become too high. Many now seek comfort in closer communities, such as direct messages and group chats, where they can connect without pressure or the need for a large following. As users migrate towards these more intimate communities, platforms like Instagram are introducing paid subscriptions to exclusive groups to keep up with the trend. It is difficult to predict the long-term impact on online sharing, but one thing is clear: people are demanding a more authentic and healthy digital experience that mirrors their real-life social environments.

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