Categories
Addiction Health Social Media

Social Media Addiction: Understanding The Problem

Social media is designed to be addictive. Many of us are hooked on it. In this post I will write about social media addiction. Companies purposefully design these apps to be addictive. How can we combat this time consuming addiction?

Social Media

Social media companies have long understood the power of trying to keep you hooked on their apps. Facebook, for example, knows that the longer you spend on their app, the more advertisements you will see. Companies like TikTok use algorithms to get you to spend more time on their app. One way companies do this is by using what is called A/B testing. Let’s understand how this works.

A/B Testing

In order to keep you using a social app or website longer, companies will engage in what is known as A/B testing. This is where one subset (group A) of users of the web site is shown a particular version of the site, while another set (group B) is shown a different version of the site. Using data analytics, companies can decipher which version of the website users have spent the most time on. Then they will modify the website to the version that users spent more time on. Companies do this to maximize the time individuals will spend on the website. This is done to increase profits for the business which is running the platform.

Addictive Algorithms

Once we understand how there are powerful algorithms set up within the apps and websites that we use in order to keep us using them, we can begin to untangle from this addictive matrix. Knowledge is power. Knowing is half of the battle. Once we know how we are being subtly manipulated into using these social apps, we can begin to resist them. Companies with billions of dollars invested in them to keep us using these apps are obviously going to hire the best minds in order to make these platforms increasingly more addictive. Do not forget about the simple pleasures and joys that people used to have before social media addiction.

Positives of Social Media

Social media does have positive aspects to it, especially in situations like COVID-19 lock downs. It can be a great way to communicate with relatives who are far away. Online social platforms can be great for launching businesses as well. It is just important to resist the negative aspects so they do not outweigh the positive ones. Take time away from social media and try to spend it with real people. It is a lot more natural than staring at a screen all day.

Conclusion

Combating social media addiction is something that many of us need to work on. Especially if you are working as a content creator. It is hard to create content consistently if you are constantly consuming it.

If you need in depth help battling social media addiction, I would recommend checking out this book written by the addiction experts at Allen Carr. The book is called “Smart Phone, Dumb Phone – Free Yourself From Digital Addiction.”

You can purchase a copy of the book here. It explains more in depth how these companies aim to get us hooked on our devices and ways that we can aim to break free. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Business Ideas Social Media

TikTok: Opportunity For Content Creators

In this article I will explain why the app TikTok is a great opportunity for content creators in 2020. If you make video content, or are interested in making short video clips, then you should be using TikTok. Allow my to explain why TikTok is such a good platform for content creators.

TikTok

Video sharing app TikTok has been a clear favorite among the public during 2020. The app focuses on users posting short video clips and people are engaging a lot with TikTok. I recommend you focus attention on producing several pieces of content a day for TikTok. The reason I recommend that you focus on TikTok is simply because the app is so popular right now. People are paying a lot of attention to the content that gets posted on there.

It seems like it is a lot harder to grow nowadays on YouTube and Instagram. As a creator you want people to see your content. Therefore you need to be on the platforms that people are actually going to on a consistent basis. I have written in a previous article how I believe that TikTok is a serious competitor to Facebook’s Instagram. Check out that article for more information about this subject.

I’m a new content creator who is trying to grow on various social media platforms. I have had videos that received tens of thousands of views on TikTok. On other platforms, I have never had a video get those kinds of views. I feel that YouTube and Instagram have become too saturated with content. It is difficult for new content creators to grow on those platforms. This is why you should currently focus more of your efforts on creating content for TikTok. Also, Instagram’s business model focuses on having users pay to have their content promoted to others. They are not in the business of having you grow on their platform for free. Unless you are already a famous celebrity, Instagram can seem like a waste of time in 2020.

Out with the old

Social media apps have life cycles. Growing up with the popularization of the internet I have seen many kinds of social media trends come and go over the years. In the early days of the internet, people communicated back and forth using only text. Chat rooms used to be popular. Then you had messaging apps such as ICQ and MSN messenger emerge. No one I know still uses ICQ or MSN messenger. Those apps were once popular and almost all my friends used them to communicate. Then came social media site MySpace, which today is hardly the vibrant social media community it once was. Facebook came along to displace MySpace as the new dominant social media site. You remember when almost everyone was telling you to get on Facebook. Now you hear stories of people quitting Facebook. It’s no longer the fastest growing social media platform.

Next came Instagram, which Facebook bought in order to control competition. In my opinion, Instagram is starting to seem stale. TikTok is the new hot social media app of the day. I don’t think people will stop using Instagram any time soon. It will still have a strong position among social media apps.

People often use social media to try and build followers or become an individual of influence. If people are posting content to Instagram and not many people are seeing it, they will move to platforms where people actually see their content. Instagram is in the business of having you pay them to have your content be promoted to the right people. Non sponsored content creators are already creating content for free. If creators now have to pay Instagram to promote it will generally be a losing proposition.

Conclusion

It is a good idea to focus on TikTok as a significant part of your social media strategy in 2020. There is a more opportunity for you to go viral with your content on TikTok. Instagram is in the business of having you pay them to promote your content. TikTok actually promotes the content you create when people open the app. Try focusing more of your creative energies on TikTok for a while instead of other platforms. I think you will be impressed with the results.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Blogging Internet Social Media

Will TikTok Replace Instagram?

There was MySpace, then Facebook, then Instagram, and now TikTok. It seems that TikTok is the latest social media trend and it looks like it is here to stay. Will TikTok become the dominant social media platform of our current time in 2020? Will Instagram eventually become like MySpace? In this article I will offer my own speculations.

Competition for Instagram

I feel that Instagram faces a serious challenge from TikTok in 2020. There are several reasons for this. There are reasons why TikTok is so popular. It has to do with the ease of use of the app and how simple it is to discover new content.

Social media companies understand that people want their content to be viewed by other people. Some people even have a desire to have a video go viral and be seen by a lot of people. It seems as though the algorithms that Instagram is using when someone posts a photo or video do not really lead to that post having a chance to go viral nowadays.

I have never really had large followings on social media as of this point. My perspective on this comes from someone with very few followers. When I post a photo or video on Instagram nowadays, in 2020, it does not seem to get viewed by very many people. Even if I use a lot of hash tags. I remember back in 2016, I would post a photo on Instagram of some of my synthesizers and with enough tags that photo could actually get many likes. Sometimes hundreds even though I had almost no followers. Today, you could post the same photo and hash tags and it probably will not get the same amount of likes, from my experience. This could just be because the platform has become over saturated with content as well. Or maybe people are moving away from Instagram. This is all speculation and personal experiences.

Why is TikTok So Popular?

One reason I believe TikTok is gaining popularity is because it entices people to create content by recommending somewhat random content to people as soon as you open the app via the “for you page”. This creates views, likes, and attention for the people who are creating the content. It allows content discovery in a more direct way than Instagram currently does. Instagram does have the “discover” page where you can find new content from people you do not follow, however it is not shown to you as soon as you open the app. When you open Instagram, the first thing you see is content from people you already follow, and advertisers. This reinforces the content of people who already have followings, but it does not promote smaller content creators to you as soon as you open the app, like TikTok does.

In 2020, I have posted random videos to TikTok that have been viewed thousands of times, and I’m just getting started on that platform. I’ve recently got back on Instagram in 2020 and I am trying to build up a following on there as well. I can not imagine any video I post on Instagram at this point getting thousands of views like the ones I have posted on TikTok. This is because the content discovery algorithms of Instagram are not promoting smaller content creators. Why could this be? Think about it. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, wants you to pay to have your content promoted to people. It’s a business. I’m not saying TikTok isn’t a business. It’s just that the algorithms are currently set up differently.

Instagram Wants You to Pay

So do not worry if you are not getting a lot of likes on your Instagram posts in 2020. I believe the reason is simply that Instagram is not in the business of promoting your content, unless you pay them. At least new content creators may have a chance to build up a following on TikTok because the algorithms actually seem to support up and coming content creators. Instagram on the other hand is more “pay to play”, as they say.

I’m not saying don’t create content on Instagram. For some reason though the the platform feels, to me anyways, like it could be on the way out. There seems to be more engagement on TikTok. More people commenting and communicating back and forth on the comments of posts. Instagram seems to me to be more dominated nowadays by celebrities and brands. While TikTok still seems to empower the individual small scale content creator more.

TikTok Designed for Video

Also Instagram was created during a time when video wasn’t a major or or standard feature on social media apps. I remember when videos on Instagram were first rolled out back in 2013. Smartphones weren’t as powerful back then. It was not really possible to have an app like TikTok running on phones back then as smoothly as it does today. TikTok seems to be more designed for the capabilities of modern 2020 smartphones and data connections than Instagram. Instagram may hold its place as a space for still photography as well as videos. People will always enjoy the merits of a still photograph. Since TikTok is a video only app at this point, it seems that this is one area where Instagram could hold an advantage.

I could be totally wrong and TikTok is a quick flash in the pan and Instagram will win in the long run. I don’t think that’s the case but TikTok is not without issues. It has been banned in India and also there are talks of banning it in America due to political and national security concerns.

Please let me know if you agree or disagree with any of what I’ve written here. Again, much of what I’ve written here is personal experience and speculation.

Thanks for reading this blog and have a great day!

Keep creating whatever you create.

© 2020 – Richard Gillespie