Music Business

Say goodbye to Social Media and hello to Recommendation Media

With algorithms taking the reins on platforms, social media does not offer the reach and opportunities that it once did. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

by James Shotwell of Haulix

Believe it or not, social media is dying.

Social media was flawed from the start. At the dawn of digital connections, nobody anticipated how our real-world relationships and mutual interests would be weaponized for advertising campaigns. We probably should have considered it—maybe some even thought about it—but this was when smartphones were still a new idea.

After nearly two decades of making connections across various platforms, social media users often complain their most important relationships are nowhere to be found. “I never see ____ anymore,” people will tell you, often as a justification for missing an important event or detail. “The algorithm must not like them.”

But the problem with social media is far more complicated than simply showing you different posts. Algorithms learn from behaviors, and our behaviors have told algorithms that we don’t want to see our friends or parents in our timeline. We may like their posts from time to time, but we like memes, news, and viral content far more often. Those actions make it clear that the best way to keep you engaged is to give you more of what you already like, which creates a loop of relevant content.

Breaking these loops can be difficult, even when you no longer care about the content. In this Music Biz update, host James Shotwell explains how the infrastructure behind an entire generation of social media apps was not built to adapt to modern times and which leading service is closest to getting it right. He also explains the rise of so-called “recommendation media” and how its popularity speaks to a positive future for creators everywhere.

[ MORE: Old school ‘community’ is music marketing’s hot new trend ]

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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  1. I was tremendously stressed out by social media. My life was being consumed by it. I also made the decision to de-toxify.

    Even though it has only been about a month since I stopped, the change is significant. I stopped using Facebook, assignment services uk, Instagram, and Snapchat. I don’t mean deactivated when I say “quit.” Although they are still there, my accounts are no longer operational.

    There were some drawbacks, no doubt. I felt restless and out of it for the first several days. But as time went on, it struck me.

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