As social media companies struggle to innovate, they have resorted to recycling features and incorporating them into their own platforms. This trend points to an underlying “quarter-life crisis” in social media, as original ideas seem to be drying up and platforms scramble to reinvent themselves.
- Major platforms like Meta (formerly Facebook) and TikTok are introducing features that echo already existing features in other social media apps. Examples include Meta’s Threads, which is similar to Twitter, and TikTok’s new text-based post feature, akin to Instagram Stories.
- The borrowing of features across platforms signifies an attempt to grab and retain user attention amidst an unpredictable ad market and the limitation of people’s capacity for using multiple social apps.
- Social media’s lack of innovation can be viewed as its transition into a “fashion industry” where success is measured more on engagement and retention than on innovation.
- This constant reinvention and feature borrowing does not necessarily serve the users but often seems more like political projects within the companies.
- The emergence of a new group of apps promising a decentralized social media experience signifies a possible shift from the founder-driven model of the past two decades.