Stories on social media

The premise of sharing

At its core, social media is based around connecting people with family, friends and even connecting strangers with each other. It achieves this by enabling someone to share their thoughts, photos, videos, and pretty much anything that can be digitalized in input to the computer. Sharing content makes the user comfortable in the sense that the only people that the content is their family and friends. Based on an account’s default settings, this is not true. Account privacy allows the user to control who is able to view their content, and the user can adjust the privacy settings as necessary.

What most people do not realize is that all the content they upload is owned by the social media company, and through the social media’s analytics and Google adsense, they are able to figure what you’ve been looking at on the internet. This allows the social media company to advertise products or services that are more relevant and personalized towards the user.

A social media service is a company, and without revenue, a company can only last so long. Since it is a ‘free’ service, the company has to make up the loss somewhere else. Thus they ask you to read over a terms of service document, that everyone skips which allows the company to use your information as they like. The company makes up the difference by giving ad exposure and selling data to other companies. When you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.

The internet celebrity

Over the past decade or so media has shifted away from TV towards digital media content. More people are watching online video content over TV because they are able to have greater control over the advertisement placements, and the ability to choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. This is solely thanks to the introduction of the internet. The internet connects people across the world, and enables people to share their thoughts and ideas.

Enter the internet celebrity. In recent times a large component of social media was the internet celebrity. Normal people like you or me could gain followers, and subscribers to a person’s thoughts, ideas and online content. Some of the more popular online content right now includes famous vloggers who share their lives with the internet, and put it in a video on the internet. The best thing about it is that almost anyone can share their ideas on this large multimedia platform. Whether it be through Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube, online content has a vast reach to younger audiences.

The introduction of stories on social media

Prior to Snapchat, internet video existed, but it was still largely developing into the type of online video we consume today. Some of the earliest video content on YouTube was very amateurish as the platform was growing. People posting and sharing their story and ideas on YouTube started gaining traction, and the quality of the content began to improve dramatically in the early 2010s. This increase in quality drew even more people away from TV and into the online video community.

Image provided by Mashable

Snapchat

Snapchat first introduced the concept of impermanent photos. Originally the intended as an app to encourage people to share more by deleting the photos right after, Snapchat brought the idea of instant sharing of moments to social media. Where YouTube videos would be more of a sit down viewing experience, Snapchat was a window into someone’s day and it could be viewed just about anywhere. It was an easy way you could tell your friends about how your day was going.

The idea of stories was first implemented on snapchat back in late 2013. Along with stories, Snapchat also brought instant video sharing to mobile devices. During this period, numbers in mobile device ownership were increasing dramatically as their availability became more and more affordable. This made it easy for instant video and photo to be shared, all that was required was a decent platform to share it on. That’s where Snapchat earned a large chunk of their market share. Stories made it even easier to let everyone know how you are doing and where you are. By making it this easy to share your moments and experiences, some forget they may also be sharing their location. This brings me back to the idea of social media privacy. Whenever you decide to post on social media, it’s always important to know exactly what you are posting and who might see it. Snapchat is generally pretty good with this idea because you can choose whether to just share with your friends, or share on your story. You can also control whether your account can be accessed by strangers.

Instagram

Instagram was also another photo sharing service, but was more permanent. People use this service differently where they share aesthetically pleasing photos, moments in their life or something they found interesting. It’s a way you can browse photos and share your own account. Then Instagram introduced stories in the third quarter of this year and it was a near identical copy to Snapchats stories. The stories would not last longer than 24 hours, but it brought instant video sharing to the platform.

Thanks for reading!

Kyle