Giants of Social Media, Out of Touch, Are We?

November 17, 2021

Just a short item. I read “How to Hit the Top on Each Social Media Platform.” I ignored the how to part. I don’t want to hit the “top” on any social media platform. Not for this 77 year old, nope.

In the write up was a very suggestive item of information. Of course, I believe everything I read on the Internet. The statement which caught my attention was:

According to an Axios analysis of the top 50 most-followed accounts on each platform, TikTok is especially unique in minting its own stars who don’t blow up on other platforms.

  • The top five most-followed accounts on TikTok — Charli D’Amelio, Khaby Lame, Addison Rae, Bella Poarch and Zach King — do not rank in the top 50 of any other social media network.
  • Collectively, those five stars have 480 million followers on TikTok, but less than half of that amount of followers across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook combined.
  • Top TikTok personalities have been able to land massive Hollywood deals across film, TV and podcasts, without building audiences on other platforms.

If these data are accurate, it follows that “peak” US social media has come and is now officially going. The data, if on the money, suggest:

    1. Those with access to TikTok data have a valuable trove of signals. These can be used for many things; for example, which individual is most likely to have a predisposition to resist authority.
    2. A split between old school social media and new school social media is similar to the technical and intellectual bifurcation between those with traditional college educations and those who prefer short video content. Does this presage a new approach to thinking and decision making which outsiders may struggle to understand.
    3. The social damage sparked by old school social media platforms may be accelerated by the “velocity” and algorithmic steering of the TikTok type environment.

Now who owns TikTok? What outfits have access to these real time data? What managers have direct access to the stars identified as bright sparks in the TikTok universe? Time for some academics, real journalists, and researchers not accepting China centric funding to do some objective analysis.

Stephen E Arnold, November 17, 2021


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