Things are heating up around Facebook. In October 2021, it was reported that Facebook Corporation (which owns the social network Facebook, Instagram and the messenger WhatsApp) intends to rebrand and rename itself to reflect the “metaverse” concept. That said, there is a growing number of questions surrounding the company’s activities: inadequate efforts to combat the spread of misinformation, WhatsApp’s new user agreement, the cover-up of its own research on the addiction formation and “toxic effects” of its Instagram social network.
However, social networks are still in demand: there is constant news of new services being created with interesting features.
The Minus social experiment: 100 messages for life
University of Illinois artist and lecturer Ben Grosser has invented an unusual new social network. The Minus platform mimics Facebook but doesn’t promote engagement.
Grosser has spent more than 10 years studying what healthy and rich online communication might look like. The researcher focuses on the cultural effects of social media, especially how it affects users’ uncertainty, exploits our desire for instant satisfaction and is developed in an addictive way.
Each Minus user can use 100 messages in a lifetime. This makes it necessary to think carefully about how to use them.
There are no “Like” marks, publication dates or number of followers, so users don’t have to worry about how others will react to the post. They also don’t have to think about whether they will post fast enough.
On the other hand, users have unlimited opportunity to reply to other users’ posts. “Minus revolves around the question of what would happen if social media didn’t always force you to participate, but actively worked to limit your participation,” Grosser explains. – That way, you don’t feel like you always need to be online and can disconnect. Ultimately, the Minus platform is focused on promoting communication, as users are free to reply to posts.
Minus has no advertising, so it doesn’t have the same incentives as Facebook to keep users on the site. But Grosser hopes it may force other platforms to rethink some functions and make the user’s well-being a priority.
Donald Trump’s new social network TRUTH Social
Former US President Donald Trump’s company Trump Media & Technology Group will create a new social network, TRUTH Social, to counter giants like Twitter and Facebook.
“Trump Media & Technology Group’s mission is to create a rival to the liberal media consortium and confront Silicon Valley ‘big tech’ companies that use their one-sided power to silence opposition voices in America,” the company said in the statement.
Recall that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other online platforms blocked the accounts of Trump and his supporters in early January 2021 after storming the Capitol. Twitter, meanwhile, said the blocking would be for life, while Facebook said it would be blocked until at least early 2023.
Pinterest may lose its independence
PayPal is considering the prospect of buying Pinterest. The photo hosting site’s potential share price was $70, with the entire business valued at $39bn. On the back of this news, Pinterest shares have risen by 19%.
The photo hosting company went public in 2019, at which time investors valued it at $10 billion. According to a Bloomberg report, the purchase could strengthen PayPal’s position in the social commerce market, a subspecies of e-commerce that involves media and social media. The company tracks clicks and purchases on its apps, which provides evidence of the platforms’ advertising effectiveness.
However, PayPal later denied rumours about buying Pinterest. After the initial announcement of the purchase, financial analysts’ opinions differed, with many saying the potential deal was illogical.
“We are confused by this potential deal and see almost no strategic rationale,” Andrew Jeffrey, an analyst at Truist Securities, said earlier. – We see such a move almost as an act of desperation.”
A deal to buy Pinterest would give PayPal more data about the products consumers buy and the ability to potentially advertise or offer discounts based on that data.