Social media grew up as a digital representation of our analogue world; its next phase will be truly native to the digital form – it’s time to start thinking about that idea.

In brief: Stratechery writer Ben Thompson outlines how at both a business and an experience level, the social internet was created and monetised in such a way that copied what already existed – an advantage, he argues, that Facebook held inherently over Twitter – whether relationships or business models.

Where it’s going: “What truly makes a category is V2: products that are only possible because of the unique properties of digital. That, for example, is why TikTok is such a threat to Facebook’s hold on attention”, he adds.

Ultimately, as much as the idea is about content, it’s also about the limitations of the user’s fixed self – Facebook’s strategy in recent years has shown as much, with a hard push into group-based social media and messaging.

Simply put:

  • V1 social media attempted to emulate friends and family chatting noisily at a bar (sharing views and ideas that would not have been shared with everyone you know and are related to in the analogue world and causing fights).
  • V2 social bridges the gap between algorithmically-surfaced global content (think TikTok) and interest-defined groups, which through having an existing common ground have the potential to burst filter bubbles in a far more amicable, constructed manner.

Final thought: While we don’t expect civility from social media – think of the brand safety worries of the last few years – it’s “because we are stuck on V1.”

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Sourced from Stratechery