Prime Only Members-Only Article

The Core Challenges of Social Media

|
December 18, 2022 6:54 p.m.
THE BACKCHANNEL
FREE EDITION
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
NEW!
A FREE email newsletter from Josh Marshall An email newsletter from Josh Marshall

I know we’ve been a bit Elon-centric here of late, but the latest developments should prompt us to look to some of the core challenges behind what we now call social media. The Musk saga is comparatively simple: a middle-aged buffoon on one-half midlife crisis, one-half power trip running roughshod over everything. But outside such extreme cases there are more basic challenges. The essence of the social media business proposition is to be the venue for literally everyone talking about everything while managing the venue through automated processes which keep the staff capacity and costs low. Put a different way, success means scale: revenues growing exponentially while costs grow arithmetically.

This is a members-only article
Small Team. Big Results.
We’re proud of what our small newsroom has accomplished and it’s not hyperbole when we say that without our members, none of this would be possible.
Free memberships available for students and those experiencing financial hardship.
Already a member? SIGN IN
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: