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Hello, weekenders. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure.
Last week, I offered up some mildly interesting takes on how Waymo was shaping the future of autonomous vehicles inside of a virtual space rather than wholly on physical roads.
Internets - Interfaces - Buttons - Lines - Inquiry
There are two internets. There’s the one where we click through interfaces and hit menu buttons and dive down predictable lines of inquiry and find predictable ends. And then there are ads. We don’t understand why we get what we get but we the content flows from platform to user with asymmetric information of the “how?”.
Advertising is the economic backbone of the free consumer web, but users are haplessly oblivious to where that generated content comes from and why. What intrigues me here is that a few days ago Instagram announced that it was further rolling out a test to hide like counts from users and that it has been further minimizing the prominence of follower counts on profiles.
Step - Evolution - Giants - UX - Transparency
It’s an (admittedly small) step in the evolution but it hinges a bit more on how internet giants have come to realize UX transparency can actually lead to some negatives.
There’s of course the ethical argument where you think about the responsibility that Facebook has not to make people feel **** about themselves by offering a dopamine-hit conveyor belt as a platform, but a more fascinating idea is what a change like this opens up to the company in terms of returns and what it means for how platforms portray the nebulous idea of “engagement.”
Returns - Instagram - Test
One of the easy returns I bet Instagram finds as they expand this test is that by eliminating the...
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