Is the social media bubble about to burst?

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I see Meta is planning large scale layoffs for thousands of workers following a hiring freeze and a share price fall of 70 percent this year.

12,000 so called ‘underperforming’ employees could face the chop.

Meta’s been under fire for a while now – Zuckerberg getting Metaverse obsessed hasn’t helped.

I have a hunch the only person really living in the Metaverse is Zuckerberg and I’m not sure why tech companies keep wanting to push us into a virtual existence, forgoing the real one we have right here.

One media mogul questioned the decision to pivot towards a Metaverse too, he said, “If you change the name of your company to something that doesn’t yet exist to bury what does wildly exist, successfully, something is quite odd in that.”

And that sums it up. If it wasn’t broke, why fix it? Because it’s not just Meta encountering problems and rethinking staffing.

A number of tech companies are announcing hiring freezes or job cuts which as one observer pointed out, is “a stunning shift for an industry sometimes thought of as untouchable.”

You’ve got Elon rarking it up at Twitter, announcing sackings then un-announcing them.

Twitter laid off close to 3,700 people, only to reach out to dozens of them afterwards when they worked out they maybe shouldn’t have fired them and needed some of them after all.

Twitter’s been losing $4 million a day; it’s a huge turnaround, for the worse, when you think about how hyped and talked up social media once was.

Social media companies interest me because there’s such a divide on that stuff now.

If you’re in the social media bubble, it can be your whole world, people make livelihoods off of it, they struggle to understand why everyone’s not on it – to them it almost is real.

They can’t fathom not being on it. But what if it just all implodes?

No bad thing many would argue, because it’s not real.

So does it surprise me that Twitter’s in trouble, that Facebook’s struggling and that TikTok seems a hotbed of Chinese spying or misinformation? No, this was all entirely predictable.

The internet is a toxic cesspool of stuff which was initially designed in good faith, but has been rorted and wrecked by people after the fact. And monetised to the point where you just don’t know what you can trust anymore.

The era of the influencer too, is a weird one; one that some analysts believe is coming to an end.

“Their business model is under siege because brands would rather pay influencers to market their products on Instagram versus paying Instagram to market their products, so it’s in Instagram’s best interests to ruin influencers.”

So the theory is that as engagement drops, brands will switch back to paid ads instead of paying influencers. And if the influencers are gone, then what’s left?

Is Instagram left in a Facebook predicament of old people sharing cat memes? Essentially, a platform young people want no part of.

So it’ll be interesting to see where this all goes and whether the tech giants who run it can stem the tide of disengagement and turn it around or whether we get to the point where the social media bubble finally just bursts.

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