Media platforms

Why can’t new social media platforms break through?

Is your social media startup destined to become a new feature on a different platform? Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and all the other major social media platforms have been stealing since before we can remember. First Snapchat created stories, and now every platform has stories. Then TikTok created short video content, and now Instagram has reels. And no one even had followers until Twitter coined the term in 2007.

Now, we see this trend continue as younger generations latch onto new social media platforms. The number one free app in the iOS App Store at the time of this recording is Be real.

When the app tells you it’s time to get real, you have two minutes to post what you’re up to. These prompts arrive at different times each day. It’s meant to give your followers a more authentic, unfiltered view of who you are.

Meta see, Meta do

But now Meta has confirmed that Instagram is release of a prototype to compete with the new app called IG Candid. The prototype will also encourage users to post a photo of themselves at random times of the day.

Again, the major platforms have always borrowed features from each other, so this is not a new test. Do you remember the Clubhouse? We now have Twitter spaces. But it makes it harder for social media innovators to create new platforms.

Who is to blame here?

The system in place rewards already established social media platforms and makes it increasingly difficult for outsiders to break out of the mold. And make no mistake, the platforms are not to blame. If they don’t play the system, their competitors will.

Is it an ethical practice? Or should we implement a trademark system that prevents social media platforms from stealing features from each other? Perhaps the social media space is crowded and regulation would complicate things further, but the lack of competition is troubling.


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