Who Owns Our Conversations?

A couple of social media platforms have seen an unprecedented year, those being X and Reddit. What is X? Well, following his purchase of Twitter, Elon Musk rebranded the site to become X, but that’s only just one of many things that have happened with the social media platform this year.

X is designed to be Musk’s way of making strides to turn the app into that of not just a social media platform, but that of messaging others, payments for other things, and more. But before X, a lot happened on Twitter.

Musk had altered a lot on the platform, but most notable were the verification check marks and the for you and following feeds on the main page. The verification process changed and people are now allowed to buy a check mark the main page was altered to look like TikTok’s with the for you and the following pages.

Over on Reddit the API (application programming interface) policies changed and it was announced that third-party applications will be charged when using Reddit.

These instances may not sound big, but they can alter the experience of some people completely on these platforms. On Twitter (at the time), over 877,000 users deactivated their account once Musk took over. On Reddit, over 6,000 communities went dark in protest.

These platforms are trying to utilize the avenues the have on their apps more effectively for them so that they can make money. On Twitter, these changes have driven revenue through the roof with Musk profiting off of subscriptions to Twitter Blue and Reddit is causing moderators of the Reddit communities to have to pay to use their third party services that they need to use to do their job. Companies have increasingly been trying to find ways to monetize their platforms online and we have to find a way to be able to clearly recognize that and take steps to make social media more consumer friendly and experience friendly.

One big step in this process is recognizing that these companies are benefiting profit-wise but also their algorithms that pull you can be addictive. They find ways to interest you and add in things to seemingly inadvertently profit more when you may not know it. These company owners are turning these social media platforms into pay-to-play applications when it doesn’t seem necessary and really disinterests and even hurts some people.

I myself engage in purchasing online media-related content. I have my own separate blog covering high school basketball. I run this on Wix to be able to spread my name in the media world and cover basketball, while also complementing my X and Instagram accounts where I connect with colleges and high schools ot orchestrate my photography work. I pay for the premium Wix account which costs more annually to operate as I need it to do my jobs. Similar to this situation, I have pay for an account to be able to set mine up to get the versions to do my work that may have previously been at lower rates or free.

The game has been changing for a while now and it does look like it is continuing to head down that road. But as a community, being able to first recognize the problem with these increasing pay-to-play apps will help us be able to realize that it is changing and we have to think of ways to adapt and invest in ourselves in the best way for us in jobs where we need those platforms.






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