As I always do at the end of June, I’m here to let you know what’s going on with social media and what to expect ahead of Social Media Day. Last year, I talked heavily about the iOS 14 changes (and how they were running my life…not to be dramatic). After dealing with that for more than a year, I’ve decided to accept this and move on. So, let’s talk about the changes that have happened since those massive “upgrades” and where social media is headed.
Last year, TikTok was taking off, and I wasn’t into it, I’ll be honest. I thought Vine was better, and I was annoyed by all of the Gen Z’ers trying to make TikTok happen; “it’s not going to happen,” or so I thought. I’m sad to say that I’ve given in. TikTok is now part of my daily social check, and I’m a touch embarrassed to admit that I like it. I get the appeal. What I don’t get is using TikTok as your first form of research. A few kids in Courtney’s class last semester cited TikTok as their research. Not a book. Not a reputable website. TikTok. We were all a bit befuddled but realized this is the way the world is heading, so keep that in mind.
As far as Instagram and Reels go, there haven’t been too many changes. People are still uploading their TikToks as Reels and calling it a day. However, many people are starting to fall off of Instagram as the algorithm continues to change, and they see more posts that follow a Reel that they just watched instead of their friends and family members that they follow. I don’t think Instagram will ever fully die off. Still, the appeal is decreasing, especially to the younger generation, who, as we all know, determines what’s “cool” and what’s not – I’m looking at you skinny jeans and side parts (yes, I’m talking to my millennial self in this one.) That is how the world works now: GenZ decides what to do, and some millennials and older generations listen while others do not.
Let’s see what else has happened in the last year…
Elon Musk purchased Twitter just a few months after Jack Dorsey handed it over to his CEO, Parag Agrawal. Dorsey decided to step down to have Twitter be more of a board-owned enterprise as opposed to run by just one man. That lasted just a few months until Musk bought Twitter for $44 BILLION. So, Twitter is now (once again) controlled by just one man. There haven’t been significant changes since Elon took over, but he has made big promises of how he’ll make Twitter ‘better.’ He vows that he’ll undo the algorithm shifts and show you what you want and who you follow. He promises that free speech will be allowed and no accounts will be banned by stating their mind; while free speech doesn’t apply to privately owned businesses (like Twitter), Musk believes that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.” and he plans to let that shine through in his latest endeavor. He also vows to delete the spam accounts and bots trolling the site. Musk wants Twitter to be where people can speak their minds, not get in trouble for doing so, and see the content they want without being bogged down by spammy or politicized posts. As the deal hasn’t been finalized, we’ll see what happens and how his promises hold.
Social media will always be around; the cool and popular platforms will simply shift in the future. Facebook is still seen as a place for our moms and grandparents to post pictures and brag about their retired lives, Twitter is (for now) for news, sports, and quick memes, and Instagram is dwindling, but it’s still for the aesthetic. Do you agree with those generalizations? What are your thoughts on social media and how it’s changed over the last few years?
We aren’t being tracked quite as much as we were in 2021 and before, but somehow the ads are more relevant, and it seems our phones are listening to us. Yes, I know that Facebook and Instagram ads are part of my job, but sometimes, they’re too specific that even I can’t discern how they got that information. So, think about all of these changes and your personal use of social media. How do they line up with what I discussed? Do you think they’ll all stay around forever? What are your thoughts on Reels vs. TikToks? These questions, and so many more, are why I believe social media is here to stay.