The New York TimesThe New York Times

The future of social media is a lot less social

By Brian X. Chen

19 Apr 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Social media is becoming less social. That's good news for users who want to connect with friends and family, not brands. The New York Times reports.

Nearly two decades ago, Facebook exploded on college campuses as a site for students to stay in touch. Then came Twitter, where people posted about what they had for breakfast, and Instagram, where friends shared photos to keep up with one another.

Today, Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of ads and sponsored posts. TikTok and Snapchat are stuffed with videos from influencers promoting dish soaps and dating apps. And soon, Twitter posts that gain the most visibility will come mostly from subscribers who pay for the exposure and other perks.

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