Social media is not about being social anymore

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The Future. The days are over when mainstream apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were designed to connect people with family and friends and share daily updates. So, users are finding community on apps geared toward specific interests. But like BeReal, many may experience a sharp drop in engagement if they’re built around gimmicks instead of connection.

The mainstream apps are now more designed to amplify brand ads, sponsored posts, and influencer content.

  • That turn toward professionalism has either turned off the casual user or prodded them into becoming social media professionals themselves.
  • These changes have led to what NYT describes as the end of the online platform — “an all-in-one, public-facing site where people spent most of their time.”

Niche networks
So, the social part of social media is migrating to smaller platforms.

  • There are places like LinkedIn for business, Letterboxd for film enthusiasts, Discord for gamers, and Nextdoor for neighbors.
  • But there are broader platforms like Mastodon, Reddit, and Nostr (which Jack Dorsey now posts on) that act as “a gateway to smaller communities.”

With the explosion of so many disconnected social networks, someone will eventually make an app that acts as a portal to all your communities. Gobo, which was developed at MIT and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, hopes to be that when it releases next month.


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