If the Trump candidacy was defined by Twitter rants, the Trump Presidency may be defined by “fake news”. Since his election, the president and others have only intensified their use of the slur to shame journalists they don’t like.
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s an election year in the States – one of the most rocky and chaotic in living memory, in fact. News seems to break not just daily, but nearly hourly, thanks to social media in general, and Twitter in particular. The years-long campaign has shown the intrinsic value of the service. But the company? Not so much. as it continues to struggle to find solid footing or a suitor.
Social media is a versatile tool. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest, millions of people keep up with loved ones and learn about the world through their daily feeds. Since their inception though, speculation has run rampant on how continued use of these networks effects people's lives, treating them less like a tool and more like a drug.
Dozens of apps have sprung up to compete in the ongoing war for attention. Some are bigger than others, like Facebook. Some are better than others, like Instagram…that’s owned by Facebook.
There is, however, an unmistakable trend: that images are replacing the written word. That is at least in part the reason why Snapchat, the photo-based messaging app has for the first time crossed Twitter, that old social media stalwart, in the number of daily active users. With snaps on the rise and tweets declining, what does this tell us about the stories of the future?
Some of the best stories I’ve ever told have been over text. The zippiness of the back and forth, punctuated by emoji and LOLs and OMGs gives words an urgency and levity that isn’t normally found in more formal storytelling. And consuming in on a device in your hand, being able to stretch conversations for days and respond on a whim, adds to the spontaneity of it all.