To Bark At The Wrong Tree

Last year, the incredibly depressing by many counts 2016, we’ve got plenty of reasons to bark at the wrong tree. And more specifically, to claim that social media is the main reason for Brexit, the election of Trump and the hybrid war stemming from the Kremlin.

But were these reasons justified? Is Facebook, Twitter or Google guilty of spreading post-truths, false information or outright lies?

They certainly helped, but they are not the ones to blame. At least not the level we have been observing lately.
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Twitter, NFL и едни 10 милиона долара

На 5 април 2016 комисарят на американската Национална футболна лига (NFL) Роджър Гудел обяви вTwitter, че със стартирането на новия сезон ще бъдат предавани на живо в Twitter всички мачове, които се провеждат в четвъртък (така нареченият ThursdayNightFootball).

Тази сделка е интересна, не само защото Twitter успя да убеди NFL, че 10 милиона долара за 10 мача е по-добре от конкурента оферта за 15 милиона, но и защото първите успяха да изпреварят мастодонти като FacebookAmazon и Verizon, за да получат правата за излъчването.
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Twitter, suicidal much?

Twitter used to be the social network that brought nerds, wit and lust for news together. Now it does not anymore. For the past few years more and more pictures of cats and cute babies have found their way into the kingdom of 140 characters.

In many ways Twitter is still the place to find news from the source, touch base with friends and colleagues living far away and naturally trolling brands and tweeps. The once predominant wit, however, started giving away to endless pointless conversation about trivial actions people take everyday.

Ever since Twitter went public with its IPO in 2013, the social network started changing its attention to KPIs and trying to satisfy shareholders and investors. Nowadays everything is about growth of user base, ads served and revenue. The pressure, when regarding Facebook and LinkedIn as direct competitors, gets stronger day by day. Naturally, Twitter is acting and looking for opportunities to meet these expectations. Not so fast, though. The highest valuation of $40Bn dropped to roughly $10Bn as we speak.
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Mute Me Tender, Mute Me Sweet…Never See My Tweet.

A couple of months ago, Twitter introduced the mute button. You don’t feel like reading all these tweets of an overly active tweep, but you don’t want to unfollow him – you mute him. You are afraid that the count of Followers on your dashboard will decrease – you press Mute and not Unfollow. You can still see when the muted user favorites, retweets or replies to your tweet. Really, the only difference is that you get to keep that reciprocal following. It is just that.

I imagine Twitter wanted to increase the opportunity for users to gain more followers hoping for increasing the engagement. After all research shows that accounts with more than 1000 followers generate 96% of the traffic. Interesting, isn’t it?

This week Twitter reported 271Mn monthly active users (growing with 6.3% against Q1 2014). Dick Costolo also mentioned that somewhere between 2 to 3 times more are exposed to Twitter content…

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You Are The Product, Stupid!

On and off there is this rant on social media about platform user interface, privacy and functionality changes. Every time Twitter, Facebook and other social networks introduce something new to their design or functionality, the user base goes berserk. So it happened recently with the new Twitter profile page, or the changed Facebook timeline, or even with Condoleezza Rice starting work at Dropbox.

For them, you are not a “user”, you ARE the product, dear! Or more correctly – the content YOU create on their platform. So you are the product and this product Facebook or Twitter sell to advertisers, not their platforms. So get over it and channel your disagreement towards making the content better!
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