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The 5 stages of Social Media

May 5, 2023
2 minutes

Strategy | Business Models | Tech

The 5 stages of social media


I gave today a presentation to a group of students from Sapienza University, who visited our university for the Foresight project.

Given the strategy context of Italian companies, the mention of Social Media was inevitable, so I had to rely on the ideas of Sam Lessin, a former Facebook executive, on describing the stages/waves of Social media.

The Evolution of Social Media: From People Magazine to AI-Driven Content

Stage 1: The Pre-Internet ‘People Magazine’ Era
Remember when People Magazine (Bravo, Cosmopolitan) ruled the world of entertainment news? It was the go-to source for celebrity updates and gossip. Nobody really liked the magazines but there was no real alternative. But then came the Internet, and everything changed.

Stage 2: Content from ‘Your Friends’ Kills People Magazine
Social media platforms emerged, enabling us to connect with friends and share our lives online. Suddenly, we didn’t need People Magazine to keep up with our loved ones’ latest adventures. We became the creators and curators of our own content.

Stage 3: Kardashians/Professional ‘Friends’ Kill Real Friends
As social media evolved, influencers and celebrities gained immense popularity. The rise of the Kardashians and professional ‘friends’ shifted the focus from genuine connections to aspirational lifestyles. This is when we realized that most of our friends and relatives are boring We found ourselves immersed in a world where virtual friendships held greater influence than real-life connections.

Stage 4: Algorithmic Everyone Kills Kardashians
Algorithms stepped onto the scene, tailoring our social media experiences to our preferences. The era of personalized content dawned, leading to a democratization of influence. Everyone became a potential content creator, and algorithms served us content based on our interests, surpassing the impact of even the most prominent celebrities.

Stage 5: The Next Frontier – Pure-AI Content Beats ‘Algorithmic Everyone’
Now, we stand on the cusp of a new era. The rise of pure-AI content promises to redefine social media once again. With the power of artificial intelligence, content creation will reach unprecedented levels of sophistication and personalization. AI-driven algorithms will learn our preferences, anticipate our needs, and generate hyper-relevant content, surpassing anything we’ve experienced before. (e.g. Stable Difussion, DALE-E and MidJourney). Here, META is the best positioned to build a moat.

I will deep-dive into this topic in my newsletter: https://buff.ly/3WrUoPX

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