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Just When You Thought It Was Game Over, Oh, Snap!

Just When You Thought It Was Game Over, Oh, Snap!

It wasn’t all that long ago that so-called ephemeral messaging app Snap (nee SnapChat and SnapChat is less private than you think, as we know) hit the zeitgeist, and quickly seized a sizeable share of one-time Facebook users – especially the younger ones. Now, as Business Insider notes, Snap is working on an IPO for March that would value the company at $25 billion, and “…as part of Snap’s evolution, it’s become an increasing threat to Facebook and Instagram in terms of both attracting younger users and chasing ad dollars. A Nielsen study from September 2015 showed that the company was reaching 41% of all 18- to 34-year-olds.

“That number is likely higher now. A recent eMarketer study said that Snapchat will have reached 58.6 million people in the US, or 31.6% of social media users, by the end of 2016.”

And to think that founder Evan Speigel was considered non compos mentis for having turned down a $3B offer from Facebook just a few short years ago, although as we ourselves reported back in 2013, “right or wrong, Snapchat skated to where the puck is going.” Read More...

Future Shock and the Tech Superpowers

Future Shock and the Tech Superpowers

Future Shock author Alvin Toffler died recently, and fyi, future shock is a reference to "too much change in too short a period of time." …Toffler argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people. He believed the accelerated rate of technological and social change left people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation"—future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock, he popularized the term "information overload."

The events of the past weeks – the two incidents of police shooting, the shootings of police officers and the protests that erupted – gave us pause to reflect on Toffler and his predictions, as well as technology’s role in the events. We read a piece not too long ago that contended that, with the population shifts of people to metropolitan areas, that super metropolises/city states would be the major political forces in the not too distant future, but we contend instead that the tech superpowers – the Googles and Facebooks and various social networks – are fast becoming the major forces and vehicles for selectively disseminating information. While we are certainly not a proponent of governmental oversight, we might suggest that, at this juncture, before they become even more powerful and potentially even more manipulative, lest we forget that Mark Zuckerberg assured Angela Merkel (not realizing that he was on an open mike) that Facebook was indeed capable of suppress speech – selectively – and even more recently joked that Facebook could affect elections by announcing that they were being postponed – and that people would believe him, which gives you an idea of how powerful he believes he is - and how dumb he thinks the average Facebook user is, and for all we know, he may be right. Frightening, that someone so seemingly bereft of moral character is in control of such a large portion of the planet’s population and at the risk of repeating ourselves, Facebook's Filter Bubble Is Getting Worse.

Facebook has even hypothesized how they could control the 2016 elections. Read More...

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