Zuckerberg and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Kevin T. Dugan, writing for New York’s Intelligencer:

At times, an earnings report causes a stock’s price to fall precipitously only for it to moderate in the hour or so after, when the company’s executives calm down Wall Street by saying that all is not so bad. This time, it didn’t work that way. In fact, Facebook’s price continued to slide even lower. Zuckerberg, in his trademark nasal drawl, seemed to acknowledge that the tide was turning against the business he has been running for 18 years as of this week. “The balance of content that people see in feeds is shifted a little bit more towards stuff that isn’t coming from their friends, which they may discuss with their friends, but it’s kind of shifting towards more public content,” he said. The upshot here is that the voyeuristic behaviors that made social media as we know it so profitable — what are my friends talking about? Who did my high school ex marry? — were actually starting to fade.

Here’s a spitball theory: All social networks are fleeting. They’re like hit TV shows — they come and go. Facebook itself (i.e. the blue app) and Instagram aren’t going to disappear, but their times as the new hotness are gone and will never return. (TikTok, which is currently the new hotness, will sooner or later suffer the same fate.)

Thursday, 3 February 2022