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The Failure of Social Media Alternatives

I have a friend who runs a very successful Instagram page for a niche hobby. It’s related to a side job of his so while I don’t think it generates much income for him, it does give him some exposure.

A few years ago, Instagram unexpectedly disabled his side job account. In one day, for no apparent reason, it was gone. He was never able to get an answer from Instagram on why the sudden ban nor was he able to restore his account. He had to start all over from scratch.

Last week, I noticed on one of his stories, he was complaining about the algorithm being off and hurting his views. He went as far to say, “I wish there was another platform that existed that didn’t use algorithms.”

So, like a good friend, I chimed in with some options mainly mentioning Pixelfed.

I got no response.

My friend would never leave Instagram. If he joined Pixelfed, he’d be only the person on there creating content for his niche hobby. He’d be talking to the void; the same way I felt the half a dozen times I’ve tried Pixelfed.

It’s the same reason the Twitter migration has failed, and the reddit blackout accomplished nothing. The alternatives are just that, alternatives. They aren’t Twitter without Musk or Instagram without algorithms. They are their own thing, with their own unique user base, and while the learning curve remains higher than what say Twitter or Instagram offer, the number of folks who are going to remain on a platform they joined out of spite is never going to last.

It makes you wonder if you’d really want the folks who leave these platforms to join alternatives to stick around. They bring with them the drama, a ton of complaining about the past platform, and some of the toxic traits that alternatives were established to avoid. There is also an argument to be made that the more you protest, the less effective it becomes. If you need some clarification, give The Boy Who Cried Wolf a read again.

I guess, I’ve just grown tired of all the complaining. I’m sick of folks complaining about platforms, but refusing to leave, or leaving and then refusing to shut up about the old platform. Folks, it’s just social media. If you really think it’s that important and you are that attached to it, then I’d recommend maybe spending some time doing something else, or possibly looking into some addiction assistance.

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  1. pikapal91746 pikapal91746

    The reddit blackout makes me sad. Where am I going to read inane messages? Why would somebody leave social media if they are making money off it? Even if your friend’s account was gone. I was reading an article about this guy who kept going on different social media platforms to promote himself and getting attacked. He is looking into IRL alternatives.

    • I think the problem I have is the inconsistency. The small subreddits seem to have less trolls while the larger ones are just useless band-wagoners toting whatever line is popular that moment on reddit.

      I use Apollo exclusively for reddit, so when it’s deactivated I’ll be done with the site.

      My point with my friend is he just likes to complain but he’ll never actually do anything about it and that sentiment echos in all of social media. No one is happy but no one will make any changes. They just want to bitch and be heard.

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