Finally, New Social Networks!
Fascinating how quickly a week goes by, but here is already the 2nd issue of the iCare.report ! It’s once again about Facebook, but mainly about the new social networks that are challenging Facebook, especially also through their business models that rely more and more on subscriptions instead of advertising.
Facebook and Australia have reached an agreement - and they did so earlier this week: Australia has adapted its new media law in such a way that it is a toothless tiger with regard to both Facebook and Google. Both can now choose whether they conclude a contract with a publisher - and if so, how it is structured. The originally envisaged obligation to contract, which would have represented a link tax, is off the table - and this should also have an impact on Europe.
But as potent as Facebook may seem at the moment, the competition is fortunately becoming broader and stronger. Founded in 2003, I liked to talk about the "Facebook decade" in the 2010s. But we are now in the 2020s - and the rules of the game seem to be changing. A new generation of social networks is shaking or rattling the giant's throne, whether in audio (Clubhouse), video (TikTok), image (Dispo) or even text (Substack).
Facebook has already lost massive ground to TikTok, which has long since ceased to be a challenger but a fierce competitor that Facebook will not be able to counter with its Reels even in 2021. (Google doesn't even manage to really roll out its Shorts). The revolution of the Stories format has overtaken Facebook - and cannot simply be copied this time like Snapchat back then. And with Dispo, even Instagram's original photo service is under attack.
Much worse, however, is the change in the elementary business model of online services: what Patreon has pioneered and is particularly popular with Twitch, Discord & Co. is not only being played by TikTok but is now also being adopted by Twitter: We will soon see paid tweets, i.e. subscription models for creators instead of advertising funding, which is becoming increasingly difficult. Facebook has to change radically - or it will have serious problems with reach and revenues.
And what else? Germany simply has a massive problem when it comes to digitalisation, as can be seen once again with the unfortunately analogue vaccination strategy or with education, where NRW has actually licensed the online Brockhaus for its pupils for the next three years...
The iCare.report is all about technology, media, politics. The weekly email report delivers the absolute essentials from the last episodes of the eicker.TV (German) livestream and is a purely private commentary by Gerrit Eicker on the most important tech news of the week.