Twitter has a new For You page inspired by TikTok’s For you page according to Quartz. Many years ago we had Seesmic, a video chat community where people could share video messages 24 hours a day. We even experimented with recording videos and sharing them by phone when this was still novel.
Tik Tok has a critical flaw, as do plenty of the more popular social networks. As someone said on Mastodon today, “You have to be fast to say something new, before hundreds of other people have posted every possible reaction. That is what’s wrong with social networks today. I use social networks because I think social media is an awful term, used to encourage abuses rather than empathy.
By shifting to the “For You” algorithm based model Twitter is making the mistake that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other websites have made. It is forcing people to see populist crap rather than personal and meaningful chats.
I saw someone tweet “I have 8000 followers and my tweets have 3 million views.”
Social media should never be about huge follower numbers, and millions of views. It should be about personal conversations that lead people to want to meet in person. It should be about connecting with people.
The more Musk destroys Twitter, the easier it is to stay away for hours at a time, and to spend minutes rather than hours on the site. I played with Substack but I don’t want to post too often because I don’t want to generate too much noise. I am also playing with a shorter form WordPress blog. With the short form blog I don’t mind being noisy because I clearly state that it is a Facebook/Twitter replacement.
As soon as websites use recommendation engines, rather than chronological posts, I move away and I lose interest. Social media should be relevant and timely, not algorithm driven populist mediocrity. Time to move on.