Social content platforms are set to compete with everything in entertainment
Photo: Mike Setchell
Or at least, they will try to.
TikTok is already a hub of creativity and consumption to match the changing preferences of a digital-native (and increasingly mobile-first) generation who have spent much of their entertainment lives in an environment of attention saturation. It houses new music – both creation and distribution – video clips, advertising, influencing, shopping, games clips, and even news, with some Gen Zs already reported to turn first to the app when looking something up online instead of Google.
Meta was already on-board with the ‘everything app’ approach, with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all being differing combinations of direct messaging, status updates, video (short and long form), music sharing, and even gaming. Now Twitter has acquired an HR start-up, Laskie, with Elon Musk hinting that they would look at everything from turning it into a dating app to adding in job-seeking (all hinging on the existing social networking tendencies already present on the app).
Increasingly creative audiences, AI, and the blurring lines between entertainment formats are pushing audiences to prioritise authenticity (alongside experiences and personalisation) as differentiation points in their content saturated digital worlds. All this finds a perfect home on social content platforms.
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No single-purpose entertainment platform truly fits all the different entertainment needs and preferences of consumers. However, social platforms can have an everything-at-once approach tailored by the hyper-personalisation of their algorithms, built-in social recommendations (still one of the most powerful discovery means for video), and variability of use context.
Moreover, a social platform demands 100% attention, with the user needing to remain actively engaged to continue a session.
As the entertainment world grapples with the challenges of AI, social apps alone stand to immediately profit. This is due to the increased engagement it will bring by being the home of its freely user-generated content and comparative lack of inherited rights complications that pureplay entertainment distributors must contend with.
The Twitter acquisition of Laskie may (and probably will) not be the answer to the company’s revenue woes, but it is a strong indicator that this ‘adopt-everything’ approach is deliberate – and will continue to be successful. Everything digital now is increasingly social, and social content can now be made of everything. Single-purpose entertainment companies will have to balance finding their niche with maintaining their relevance, before social eats further into the established entertainment world.