Social media no longer focuses on "social" and is being inclined towards entertainment

Lately, it has been observed that social networks are no longer being used for what they were intended for and are becoming more of an amusement hub. As it appears, the developers of such applications are also going with the flow by changing the algorithm based on the user’s preferences.

According to Nick Cicero, the VP of strategy at the video optimization service provider company Conviva, social media platforms have now reached a point where the content being posted is more important than maintaining social connections.

Based on the latest study by research firm Omdia, ByteDance’s famous short video platform, TikTok, has taken over the online streaming application, Netflix, by emerging as the 2nd most talked-about application among users below the age of 35. Another big achievement was also secured by TikTok in 2022 after the application became the most famous spot for content watching. Back in 2021, TikTok was just a few seconds short in mean watch time in comparison to Facebook.

Maria Rua Aquete, head director of the research company, said that for those advertising agencies who are looking forward to staying connected with their young users, TikTok’s influence in their lives must not be left unattended.

Currently, the short video app hosts over eighty million monthly users. Out of this number of people, eighty percent of the audience from the United States lie in the range of sixteen to 34 years of age. Hence, the site is inviting marketing brands to include TikTok in their marketing plans.

However, the query remains whether TikTok is still a social platform or a source of relaxation.

The creative head of 160over90, Leroyson Figueira, answered this question by stating that lately every other new digital application or site is termed a "social networking site," whereas it should be given a thought as to whether it fulfills the definition. Furthermore, Figueira added that TikTok is not like its competitor applications, such as Meta owned apps; in fact, the short video platform is more like a television house or Netflix. While other platforms count TikTok among social media applications, the app itself believes it to be more of a relaxation tool.

The business leader of the app, Blake Chandlee, said that other applications move their algorithm along with the social graph, whereas TikTok doesn’t follow this trend.

After watching the unmatched achievements of TikTok, other rivals such as Instagram and Snapchat started to roll out short video features of their own, focusing more on entertainment than making connections.

A survey conducted 12 years ago had already shown that people considered social apps to be a pleasure source and that these applications were a better source of relaxation in comparison to television shows or listening to music.

Dara Denney, performance manager at Thesis, expressed that while TikTok appears to be more reachable when it comes to finding people with the same interests and making them follow their favorite creators as well, on the other hand, Meta’s Facebook is a platform on which the advertisements appear to be more targeted and engaging instead of other users.

Cicero differentiated between being a public figure and a content maker. According to Cicero, influencers are more like public figures having a bond with their followers, while content uploaders don’t have to be fake; instead, it is more transparent about their lives, and the difference is quite visible for everyone to see.

On the one hand, marketing agencies focus mainly on entertaining users while attracting them to a brand. On the other hand, people look up to TikTok not only for entertainment but for their personal growth as well.

TikTok is focusing on bringing people with similar interests together to form a community, while other similar sites are only using their platform as an entertainment medium.

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