The homogenization of social media will have real consequences, including how the apps make money and compete
Social media feeds are melting together. Instead of using separate apps for friends, family, news, culture and entertainment, you can now see it all on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Open any and you’ll likely be watching vertical looping videos, almost assuredly from people you don’t follow. The content is so similar it’s easy to forget which app you’re on.
The homogenization of social media is a testament to TikTok’s success — AI-based recommendations simply crush the follow model — but when apps look so uniform, it doesn’t tend to persist for long. Winners can roll up and dominate, creators can assert their value and governments can grow emboldened toward action. Some degree of this is already under way; the rest will likely eat.