The enshitification of social media platforms
For a while now, Cory Doctorow has been warming to his theme on how social networks trap their users with network effects, then exploit them when they find it hard to leave because all their friends are there.
He's absolutely nailed it in this most recent post:
Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.
I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a “two sided market,” where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.
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