The difference between good and bad Facebooking

“Social media” is a clumsy term that entangles enriching social interaction with mindless media consumption. It’s a double-edged sword whose sides aren’t properly distinguished. Taken as a whole, we can’t decide if it “brings the world closer together” like Facebook’s new mission statement says, or leaves us depressed and isolated. It does both, but our […]

To fix SoundCloud, it must become the anti-Spotify

Startups die by suicide, not competition. It wasn’t that anyone was stealing SoundCloud’s underground rappers, bedroom remixers, and garage bands. SoundCloud stumbled because it neglected these hardcore loyalists as it wrongly strived to usurp Spotify as the streaming home of music’s superstars. But four months ago after laying off 40% of its staff, SoundCloud scored a […]

Snapchat’s epic strategy flip-flop

It takes courage to say you were wrong about almost everything. But that’s what Snap Inc CEO Evan Spiegel did this week, and that’s what it will take to save Snapchat. From algorithmic feeds to partnerships to target markets to recruiting adults, Snap is planning a 180-degree turn across the board. Headwinds And Face Wins […]

Why Snapchat Spectacles failed

How come only 0.08% of Snapchat’s users bought its camera sunglasses? Hundreds of thousands of pairs of Spectacles sit rotting in warehouses after the company bungled the launch. Initial hype and lines for its roving, limited time only Snapbot vending machines led Snap to overestimate demand but underdeliver on quality and content. Massive piles of assembled […]

Facebook seriously needs its own Bitmoji

Your Facebook profile used to be the online version of “you”. But over the past year, Bitmoji has usurped Facebook to become the preferred way to share your identity over the web. The Facebook profile assembles a collection of text and real-world photos into a fixed set of poses, making it more of a snapshot […]

Animoji are dumb and I detest them

Apple today announced the digital equivalent of a singing telegram, a perversion of the emoji concept that embodies the worst of both the company’s exclusionary philosophy and the worst of CG animals and excreta. Animoji are dumb and I loathe them. Here’s why. 1. Emoji meaning comes from context, not expression Why have emoji become […]

The iPhone lineup just got really compleX

Steve Jobs said “Simple can be harder than complex”, so it looks like Apple is taking the easy route. Customers will now have to choose between 8 different iPhones with today’s addition of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. That’s a tons of specs and options to compare, and we’re not even talking about […]

Google and Facebook envision Stories for news, not social

 Stories taught us the joy of dictating the pace of content consumption. We fast-forward in 10-second increments, with a quick trigger finger let loose the moment we get bored. That’s why soon, endless paragraphs of text and time-consuming videos might not be the only ways to get the news. This week, signs were revealed suggesting both […]

Apple’s capitulation to China’s VPN crack-down will return to haunt it at home

 Yesterday Apple removed all major VPN apps from its App Store in the country. These VPNs aided internet users there to get around the government’s vast system of censorship and access uncensored sources of media. But by doing so, Apple has clearly decided to put its business before the interests of the population, opposition leaders […]

Google’s brave new friendless feed

 It’s like Facebook without all those annoying “friends”. Instead of having to look at what weird things other people are interested in, like their babies, Google shows me the weird things I’m interested in, like Legend Of Zelda and Elon Musk. It’s a fundamental shift in content consumption from curation based on our explicit choices […]