Do social media platforms support the creation of friendships?
Friendship, we all see it as important, and in actual fact is important.
Yet, when it come to the internet, friendship becomes something very fragile…
If you are not active at any social media platform, you are a rare person, as most people are.
While we could talk about the fact that some people share way too much personal information, that is not my importance right now.
Instead friendship should be thought of, which is made through most social media platforms, yet how real is it even?
The answer is that friendship at the internet is close to non-existant.
There is 1 social media platform that really reaches out to the social aspect and the possibility to make friends, which is Twitter.
While Instagram comes close, they are haunted by a bad interaction system, problematic private messaging and the same problems as Twitter…
The other social media platforms focus on the friends you already have, which is why it is a point of discussion if VKontakte, Facebook and other examples should be called Social Networking platforms at all…
Twitter and Instagram are both haunted by “Follow baiters”…
Follow baiters are basically one of the 2 true things that make the social part dissapear, the other are those Marketing-Tweet bots.(No, actually most other bots are not that annoying at social media)
To understand it, follow baiters are those who follow you in the hopes to get followed back, and unfollow after.
In fact, currently almost all accounts with a following below a thousand and follower amount above the one hundred thousand, are follower baiters…
The thing is, they exploit the social part, which is that you would follow back at least the ones you like the shares of.
Yet, the fact they exploit this part, makes them actually the least important accounts at social media, as they are not social, they are anti-social.
Twitter is easy at that, you can see at every profile if someone follows you, making you able to unfollow those who unfollowed even without the usage of applications.
At Instagram they have not learned of their competition, as Facebook is Instagram’s Mother/Father company…
Instagram has no true way of easily seeing if someone really follows you, instead you would need to check the followings of every person, and while they have a search function at their application, it is not effective.
As I am not someone who trusts connecting 3rd party applications at instagram, as they are known to like photos of others, I get pushed to automated software.
Automation… The thing that fully beats the social part, yet caused by Instagram itself.
And you see that all over instagram by now, the accounts that are more succesful, they use bots to do certain acts.
In my case, I have started using a bot to unfollow those who do not follow back, and follow back those who actively interact with me and follow me.
All seems fine right? Well, that is not true!
By those who follow bait, Instagram has become the paradise of automated accounts and actually a decreasing number of accounts that are still real people.
As this is only increasing in numbers, celebrities at instagram are not taken seriously by most, and getting mad over people’s reactions will get you taken as a fool.(Justin Bieber anyone?)
In the end Instagram has forced themselves to be no longer a social media platform, but instead a photo platform, nothing more…
But Twitter is really different? Yes it is.
Twitter has understood some important parts of making sure that follow baiters are effectively filtered out.
The listing system is the greatest example of this, I use it quite seriously myself, I list those who I feel like interacting with and those who interact back more than once in a while.
Follow baiters will not be listed, as they eventually unfollow you, which with the clearing of your followers, makes it easy to see at list’s members page.
Yet, unfollowing is also easy at Twitter, either you just visit a page one by one, use 1 of the very many 3rd party applications or even use an automated software…
Update: The following part has not yet been updated to Twitter’s new recent policy of no longer allowing any form of automation through third party applications, even unfollowing!
Wait, hold on, did I really just say automated software at Twitter?
Yes, I actually did.
While Twitter is against automation, their terms of service are easily made ineffective and they hold no legal power when it comes to the automation part.
The thing is, just like at a courtroom, at Terms of Services there is something called “Legal Equality”, they apply to the terms of services because they are legal agreements.
What legal equality means is that there can be no inequal treatment, nothing is more, nothing is less.
At Twitter’s terms of service that is quite a fun one, as while Twitter basically says automation is not allowed, they are currently allowing quite some applications to do in fact use automation.
There are applications, which I will not name as I like their developers, that automate unfollowing, follow and even likes and retweets.
The thing is, most of them already exist close to the API of Twitter becoming public, and as Twitter never enacted any punishment on them, Twitter could actually not enact their automation terms in general, as that would be… “Inequality before law”, which would Twitter go against both their host country’s laws, the USA, but also international laws…
Legal agreements are effectively laws, and are actually stated to be included when it comes to the equality rule…
Legal equality must be maintained, meaning Twitter can not actually currently suspend anyone for automation, as if anyone would really act upon it, they could sue Twitter in the current state, which could end up in Twitter needing to reverse every single suspension they ever did for automation…
Well, let me just say that it should be an importance of Twitter to think of a solution to this fast, and for anyone who gets suspended over automation to state this actual fact…
Twitter eventually has a good system against those who do not care for friendship, however also has the system of making friends.
It is an open social networking platform, you can see everyone’s interactions if you would like, giving the posibility to getting to know new people.
They have a quite good mention system, even though it needs some tweaking and getting it more public how mentions truly work.
But most of all, their private messaging system works and you can actually use their network on almost every platform, without limitations.
Still, Twitter is not perfect, and as we grow on, true friendship will be made more often at online video games, fora and just actual real life…
But Twitter is the 1 platform that understands that social media is about social networking and needs only 1 thought, which is the fact it needs to be easy to be social interactive.
(LinkedIn was excluded of this blog post due to them being an business platform, which is a targeted platform, not a regular social media platform like the ones stated.)