Referring to the past 2021, Bill Gates called it a strange and lost experience.
“I haven’t had any face-to-face social interaction in a long time…my world has never been smaller than the last 12 months.”
In the blink of an eye, we have coexisted with the epidemic for 2 years.
The world is still cut into islands. “Please wear a mask”, “Show your health code”, “Entry and exit with a nucleic acid negative certificate within 48 hours” brings alienation, but it has never been able to block our need for intimate relationships.
In the past year, we have actively embraced every virtual carnival and found a sense of belonging in every corner of the cyberspace. From sound and video, to VR/AR, Metaverse, boundaries are constantly being broken.
We remain optimistic in the midst of chaos and witness new connections being born.
Audio, video, VR/AR, Metaverse… Who will be the next possibility for social tools?
In 2021, the real life of human beings will continue to migrate to the virtual world. We jumped out of the “graphics and text-based” social media framework to explore new forms of connection, hoping that richer three-dimensional sensory stimulation could make up for the inner black hole caused by the out-of-control reality.
The hard-to-find Clubhouse has witnessed our “collective top” in audio socialization. No one expected that this “retro” product, which is somewhat like a radio hotline, would become a spoiler by virtue of the presence of the sound.
At the time of its popularity, Clubhouse was valued at $4 billion and had more than 10 million weekly active users. Later, Twitter, Facebook, and Spotify all joined the battle, hoping to get a piece of the pie.
We were warmed by each other’s voices on the airwaves, but the halo of the audio platform didn’t last all the way into the second half of the year. Because, short videos grab more attention.
2021 is the year when Douyin’s overseas version of TikTok conquers the world.
The data of global monthly active users exceeding 1 billion and the number of downloads reaching the top sounds empty, but some details are perceptible to everyone – in the love of algorithms and the joy of brushing, we understand the world and connect with each other. And the way of self-expression is rapidly changing to video.
Psychology professor Albert Mehrabian once proposed a communication law: when a person talks about emotions and expresses attitudes, 7% of the receiver’s perception comes from the semantics itself, 38% from the tone of voice, and 55% from facial expressions.
The short video is hilarious and funny, and the live broadcast room focuses on this moment. Their charm lies precisely in the fact that they can bring more information and a sense of reality that is closer to “on the spot”.
Compared with the silky pleasure of video integrated into social entertainment, people who collaborate remotely have entered a stage of “video fatigue”. Working from home is still the global trend in 2021, but smirking at the camera in shorts every day takes all the energy of working people.
Traditional video conferencing products like Zoom can no longer meet the demand.
Now, open up your imagination, you can go fishing while talking business in Animal Crossing; you can have a workstation in Gather’s virtual office, turning your work into a fun pixel-style game; even wearing a cumbersome VR device, in the Metaverse group building brainstorming meeting to make PPT.
Microsoft Mesh for Teams
It turns out that there is never more than one way to be “together”, and being productive doesn’t necessarily mean having to sit tight and boring.
This year, the boundaries of “virtual playgrounds” have continued to widen, and people’s social attention has also changed.
We keep in touch with our close friends and, at the same time, have become more reliant than ever on online communities. Acting out of a mask life under delicate filters is really boring, and now, we enjoy playing with like-minded strangers more.
Discord, which combines text messaging, audio and video calling, has become a popular place for young people to socialize. Large-scale concerts have not yet returned, and you are more and more accustomed to waving virtual light sticks across the screen, watching Eason Chan, Mayday, and Xicheng Boys skillfully shouting “This is Lao Tzu’s youth!”
Discord: Creating spaces where everyone can belong
Gather three or five friends, open Among Us! for an undercover game, turn Fortnite into a romantic night of dating, and throw a birthday party at Roblox. You can also create new worlds in Horizon Worlds, meditate with strangers, go on boat rides, and battle royale.
You of the Metaverse don’t even have legs, but that doesn’t sound like it really matters at all. The connection between people, the instinct of social animals to find a sense of belonging, is satisfied in every corner of the Internet.
The alienation brought about by the epidemic not only creates difficulties in connecting people, but also makes brands scratch their heads. Losing some offline scenarios that touch consumers means they need to spend more time online.
This year, live e-commerce and Metaverse have become new connection points between people and brands.
Live e-commerce has officially changed from the “Chinese model” to a global trend. Whether it is e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Shopee, or social media such as YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest, they all rolled up their sleeves and made a bet, hoping to become a “shopping channel” that young people like.
This generation of young people prefer to watch videos, and they will check reviews on social platforms before making consumption decisions. E-commerce products that are mainly graphic and text are obviously unable to keep up with the rhythm, and live broadcast can provide a more vivid and three-dimensional audio-visual experience – listening to the anchor shouting a few words “buy it”, maybe it can stimulate the desire to buy.
Compared with the booming domestic market, live streaming is still in the initial stage of testing the waters overseas.
At present, the anchors who bring goods through live broadcasts are generally celebrity Internet celebrities, and the platform will also take the initiative to launch a live broadcast shopping festival. Sometimes the live broadcast room will become a “small new product launch conference”, like Kardashian’s little sister Kylie Jenner once launched a new series of her own beauty brand on TikTok. And Walmart may be one of the most enthusiastic “crab-eating” brands. It has cooperated with many social media and tried live broadcasts everywhere.
Platforms, brands and audiences all entered with a positive attitude of early adopters. This is just a starting point, but the seeds of “bringing goods must be humane” have already taken root on the other side of the ocean.
If live e-commerce is just a casserole porridge, then the Metaverse is already a hot red oil hot pot.
The “third space” of young people such as “Fortnite”, Roblox, and ZEPETO was invaded early. Balenciaga became an $8 game skin, Vans got his own skate park, and Gucci moved the Italian estate and 100th anniversary exhibition to a virtual space.
“The end of the Metaverse is an advertisement” went from a joke to an astonishingly accurate prophecy.
Also setting off a trend in 2021 are virtual idol endorsements. Who would have thought that a digital person composed of a string of 0s and 1s would one day endorse lipstick, noise-cancelling headphones, and even anti-aging skin care products?
The brand has not let go of NFT, and it has become a standard for communicating with young people. From Coca-Cola, McDonald’s to “Spider-Man: No Home”, Nike’s acquisition of virtual sneaker brand RTFKT Studio, Adidas launched NFT and sold more than 22 million US dollars… There are always several related news every day.
Internet giants can’t sit still. Facebook changed its name to Meta, to be all in the Metaverse. Tencent invested in Roblox and Epic Games early, and also launched the digital collection platform “Magic Core”. NetEase Cloud Music went public and went to the Metaverse to knock the gong, and Baidu also recently released the Metaverse app “Xi Rong”.
Brands who are trying to squeeze into the Metaverse are like parents who are desperately trying to find common topics with young people.
Real or not, doable, useful, or profitable are not priorities. When the whole world is talking about the Metaverse, the FOMO of brands is more like a statement, hoping to tell young people: “Look, I’m trendy and cool, I’m exploring future products and new technologies!”
Will Gen Z buy it? The recent cooperation between Forever 21 and Roblox has been criticized by some players as “boring” and “more like doing housework than playing games”, and even think that this kind of marketing is only for making money.
How to advertise in the Metaverse has become a new science
Children can tell at a glance whether a brand is communicating honestly or not.
After all, young people yearn for the Metaverse because it sounds fun, interesting and cutting-edge. It is a new form of our connection to each other, online and offline interweaving, and the addition of business is inevitable. But get it right — nobody wants a new world of blunt implants and fly ads.
The epidemic has brought alienation, and we continue to widen our borders and try our best to be together. Gen Z has new preferences and brands are making changes to go where young people like it.
Some people put forward new needs, and some people explore new solutions. But this year, new forms of connection come not only from new demands, but also from reflection on old mechanisms.
Reflecting on the algorithm and escaping from the big platform have become the keywords that cannot be escaped in 2021.
The “Whistleblower” incident was a head-on blow to Facebook. Former employee Frances Haugen exposed multiple internal documents slamming Facebook for using algorithms to fuel anger and incite hatred, and for inaction when it knew Instagram was jeopardizing the mental health of teenagers.
An internal Facebook document admits: “We make physical anxiety worse for 1 in 3 teenage girls.”
Always guessing your favorite TikTok algorithm has been in the center of the whirlpool. In addition to causing users to become addicted and addicted to dopamine content and creating information cocoons, it has also been recently pointed out that it can cause sudden convulsions, anxiety and depression, and eating disorders in teenagers.
Algorithms used to be an efficient way to connect. Input behavior data, output operation results, it helps us simplify the various complex processes behind it.
But as tech giants’ profit models collectively shift to advertising, and user attention and data privacy are targeted, today’s algorithms are increasingly looking like blatant “accomplices” — not only simplifying processes, but also Squeeze it out into a bunch of 0s and 1s without emotion.
Algorithm manipulation, algorithm discrimination, information cocoon room, big data killing, inducing addiction, “rider trapped in the system”… Living in the era of ubiquitous algorithms, we enjoy the convenience brought by it, and at the same time, we are very concerned about this “” The damage caused by the “Black Box” is intimidating.
Under pressure from public opinion, Instagram said it would introduce “take a break” and new parental controls for teens.TikTok responded that it would adjust its recommendation algorithm to avoid showing users too much content on the same topic.
Currently, the United States is pushing for a Filter Bubble Transparency Act (Filter Bubble Transparency Act), hoping to put restrictions on algorithmic recommendations. In China, the “Regulations on the Administration of Algorithm Recommendations for Internet Information Services” have recently been announced, and 2022 is considered to be the first year of algorithm supervision.
We should have confidence in the power of supervision, but every time it takes a long time and debate, these big platforms “know their mistakes and can correct them” have worn out each other’s patience.
What kind of tools and Internet products do we need? Is what we have now what we want? In addition to waiting for the big platform to slowly correct mistakes, slowly plagiarize and not innovate, is there any other solution?
New Republic Names Zuckerberg 2021 Villain of the Year
Some new products are thinking about the ideal form of social platforms.
Poparazzi can’t take selfies and has no filters. I hope you can concentrate on being a “paparazzi” for your friends, capturing the real imperfect moments of life. The Dispo mimics the retro feel of a film camera, but it’s not intended to let you watch movies instantly, the party the night before, and the photos unlocked at 9am the next morning.
Dispo: Encourages you to live in the moment
And Minus doesn’t do the algorithm recommendation set. Its information flow is only sorted by time line, and it can’t be forwarded without likes. I hope to bring you back to the purity of social networking – think about it, if you can only send 100 tweets in a lifetime, you will send what?
Minus: limited to 100 tweets per person, no likes, no retweets
Some creators are no longer superstitious about the halo of the big platform.
Instead of fighting to the death with top Internet celebrities in the YouTube and Instagram arenas, and barely swallowing the unfair realization of “exploitation”, it is better to go to “small and beautiful” platforms such as Patreon, Substack, Cameo, etc., and harvest your first bucket there Kim and 1000 die-hard fans.
Some young people choose to define themselves by a community whose values align.
More than 9 million people use Good On You, the eco-rating platform for fashion brands, to make responsible shopping decisions for the planet. When their peers are addicted to the refreshment brought by SHEIN, some Gen Z turn to second-hand trading platforms such as Depop and Duozhuyu, making sustainability a real way of life.
Some disruptors, even going a step further, started the exploration of web3 and decentralization.
A form called DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) became popular. DAO covers social, investment, collection and other fields. It is owned by members and is regarded as the future Internet community. Its rules and transactions are recorded on the smart contracts of the blockchain.
It’s beautiful here like a utopia: there are no giants, no monopoly, and all decisions of the organization are voted on by members. People who are “deviant” and like-minded gather together, hoping to return to the original intention of “This is for everyone” on the Internet.
PleasrDAO buys unreleased music album of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan for $4 million, ownership of which is shared by members of DAO
Yes, the internet is not perfect. But there are always people who are voting with their actions, creating new connections and moving toward a world they believe in.
When the World Wide Web was born in 1989, few people could have predicted that it would become one of the greatest inventions in human history.
It has reshaped the entire Internet, changed the way all mankind creates, organizes and transmits information, wrote the open vision of information globalization, and engraved “connection” into the DNA of the Internet.
Connectivity is the fundamental function of the Internet and the essence of its existence.
Today, we are exposed to the vastness of the world through www, and in the era of mobile Internet, we further experience how to efficiently connect people, content, services, and even everything. Every great change in the information age society is deeply bound to the way of connection.
The Internet has no final form, technology continues to evolve, and connection methods will continue to iterate. From media upgrades, social media reflections, decentralization exploration, to the conception of the Metaverse… Reshaping our connection to the world time and time again.
As Kevin Kelly predicted in Inevitably, technology is in a never-ending state of change, they will continue to escalate, and we will always be newbies.
As for whether the new connection method is good or bad? Is it a gimmick, cutting leeks or a revolutionary milestone?May wish to have faith, let the bullet fly for a while.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/web2-is-dead-new-ways-to-connect-are-reweaving-the-web/
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