Social Media Innovations & The Future Of The Digital Economy
“Will this new feature prevent Twitter from sinking and effectively giving it some new wind under its wings?”
Twitter’s Big Upgrade
Though a character limit extension had been rumoured almost since the inception of Twitter, I personally thought that if they had not rolled it out yet, it was probably never going to come. However recently, as many others may have noted, we began to witness certain celebrity accounts being able to write Tweets longer than 140 characters, and so beta testing had already begun.
Yesterday, November 8th, 2017, The character limit extension was launched for all Twitter users, making it the new default for the platform. This can be perceived as a dramatic change considering the very long and drawn-out period of uncertain anticipation for such a possibility. To be honest, I wasn’t convinced it would be available to the rest of us even after I witnessed celebrity accounts Tweeting up to 280 characters.
Now it is trending on Twitter, #280Characters, you can search that out to see all the excitement for yourself. As a longtime Twitter user since around 2010, with my account @HonourableHappy, it is a big change to me indeed. For new Twitter users however, or those considering coming on, it may actually be a massive incentive to get deeper into the platform. This is all occurring at a time when Twitter’s future began to look uncertain with its popularity maintained yet plateauing in the past year or so. However with continued activity and support from special interests, Twitter has kept Tweeting and flapping its wings tot he next horizon.
Will this new feature prevent Twitter from sinking and effectively giving it some new wind under its wings? Personally in a social media landscape where your main popular choices are an easy to use but complicated beast which is Facebook, a heavily image-focused trendy platform like Instagram, the video focused juggernaut that makes it hard to rise in ranks, Youtube or the realtime posting from “somebodies” to “nobodies” and everyone in between giving you the closest touch point to major celebrities, public figures and online influencers from the perspective of immediacy due to the real-time nature of the platform.
That is why Twitter is still a popular news source as events can be recorded on the fly with requiring live video or audio feeds to do it. However now live video is part of Twitter with the acquisition of Periscope, another wise move by Jack Dorsey’s company. This is in direct competition with every major social media platform, all of those already mentioned, have also been pushing for the live video movement, with new massive competition coming out of a blue ocean with Twitch, focused specifically on gaming, something Youtube has addressed with “Youtube Gaming.”
Clearly competition is fierce on the live video front for these giant robots, however Twitter has always been the most “live” platform considering one can literally see a Tweet as its posted at that very second. That is why, even after plateauing and the negative connotations given to Twitter due to the amount of dramatic flame wars between divided peoples and major players in the public all the way up to high level business property owners down to status quo politicians, from everyday people young and old, professionals, specialists, and managers to entrepreneurs, influencers and celebrities. Everyone has a voice and a chance to rise up, making it a fair and vibrant platform.
Melting The Sugar-Coating
Twitter of course is not without its dirt beyond giving a voice to the highly unpopular president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, just as well status quo politicians like Hillary Clinton with a heavily documented record of pathological lying and insider corruption and those that vehemently support each completely, Twitter has just as well been accused of censorship. This was actually admitted recently by Twitter, in regards to hiding tweets hash-tagged #DNCLeaks and #PodestaEmails. Moreover I have personally experienced censoring first-hand years before that when I tried to share a live leak featuring an interview with Edward Snowden soon after he was exiled from the United States. It was an interview with a German television program and showed Snowden to be an intelligent and honest individual. He has simultaneously been described by prominent American authors like Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker this way:
“… Snowden did not study under a Nobel Prize winner, or give career advice to the likes of Henry Kissinger. He was a community-college dropout, a member of the murky hacking counterculture.”
Though I love Gladwell’s concepts in “The Tipping Point” and find his fascination for the unusual in the highly recognized valuable, his parallel hold to establishment pecking order without question can be extreme in such cases. Gladwell just as well is no stranger to tweeting a lot himself, and I’m sure he will make good use of the 280 character limit. Just as well Trump will no longer have to Tweet twice to get through one message. More importantly however you and me have more reason to be on there and be our own influencers or to learn latest ongoings of what’s happening around the world from realtime texts to live video.
Why Twitter Still Has A Future
Since the existence of Twitter is in the interests of the CIA, the FBI, major news organizations, public figures, A-list celebrities and all kinds of consumers and professionals, I knew Twitter would still be around for another few years at least, but with bold moves like these, keeping the integrity of what keeps it distinct and relevant while still increasing its accessibility for everyone with these new features, I foresee Twitter potentially lasting even longer than that. If we go by the 7-year itch rule, Twitter has managed to remain relevant past 2013, 7 years after its 2006 launch, meaning it has overcome one large make-or-break time period already. Implementing Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s concept in anti fragility that what has lasted longer up until now is likely to last longer from today, Twitter’s 11 years as an outlet may indicate that it has yet another 11 years to at least, especially after seeing some serious moves and a consistent interest not only by fans and elites but by the top people inside of the social media disrupter’s company.
Open-Source Trends Towards The Future Of The Digital Economy
With all that being said there is still a danger, not only for Twitter, but just as well the other mammoths, Youtube and Facebook (which are now in a heated match for attention) due to the exponentially growing trend of reports of censorship and attention throttling through algorithmic filters not only by users of these services, but via admission by those companies themselves. That is why newer platforms that pride themselves in free speech and open-source culture such as Minds.com and Gab.ai have been multiplying their user bases notably within the last year with Minds.com founded in 2015 growing from over 1 million users in 2016 to now over 3 million users and growing. If today’s dominating social media websites and apps don’t take note that, just as the great majority of Americans no longer trust the mainstream media’s reporting on the truth the public will just as well grow wise to the dark side of social media, selling user data to corporations, influencing users politically and towards corporate interests, essentially being complicit in gaming the system just as major media outlets have been accused of for decades.
Furthermore, newer sites like Minds, have been built from the ground up so work snappier and feel more modern than platforms like Facebook. In top of this with an integrated points system for participating, that allows you to invest in advertising without hang to spend a cent, is definitely a win-win model that the more well-known social sites would be foolish to ignore. Pushing further with the oncoming collapse of the banking system with the advent and flourishing of crypto-currency including bitcoin and many others due to advancements in block chain technology, and not only would the interest of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey start to shift from cash to crypto hurting the influence of those that want to buy or control the information dissemination towards those most invested in block chain technological innovation, it also help new platforms like Minds shift the economy to the our digital open-source system that bitcoin, ethereum and multiple equivalents provide.
Ironically these newer lesser known platforms are actually ahead of the the current leaders in this regard due to a built-in credit system, while China’s government has been concurrently trying to take social media in the exact opposite direction, creating a ratings system to judge the “value” of its citizens. The reason I put the word value in double-quotations is just as is the massive evident issue of “who will watch the watcher” and “absolute power corrupts absolutely” how can authorities be trusted to ensure the best outcomes for all people when there is no authority to ensure the quality of their decisions above them? That is why the most powerful societies today are founded on freedom, and the more they are self-governed with common sense (even if it is not always so common) the more these systems can actually be sustainable in a viable way, because no matter how much authority or power a party holds, if you don’t have the minds of the people, you have nothing.
As the world is waking up, becoming more self-aware and conscious of the truth, instead of a negative trend towards meaninglessness, sadness and hopelessness, with the right implementation of these empowering developments, consciousness can only be increased and connections mobilized towards a brighter future than ever before, from small changes like being able to Tweet a bit longer to big innovations like earning crypto currency through positive societal influence through social media, Twitter’s slogan puts it best “It’s what’s happening.”
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