Discover more from After School by Casey Lewis
Uncanny Algorithms and Essay Mills
tiktok shop fatigue
How Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Rolling Stone’ cover came together; Taylor Swift dominated the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (which were actually pretty entertaining this year — will be curious to see whether viewership was up); and can we blame Gen Z for the Southern accent disappearing?
TIKTOK POPULARIZES PRODUCTS. CAN IT SELL THEM, TOO?, nyt
I had TikTok Shop fatigue before it even launched but “after nearly a year of testing, speculation and some internal upheaval,” it’s finally available for all users in the United States. It’s already gotten backlash for pushing low-quality products, but the company is trying hard to woo major brands — they even threw a party for marketers during Fashion Week.
“We have a very aggressive plan to make a splash in the industry and make sure that people out there understand that TikTok is a place for shopping,” Nico Le Bourgeois, one of two executives overseeing TikTok Shop in the United States, said in an interview last week. “We’ll be very present for Black Friday and Cyber Monday through a combination of traffic, free shipping and deals.” He also said TikTok Shop would run ads on the web and elsewhere.
COMPANIES THAT USE AI TO HELP YOU CHEAT AT SCHOOL ARE THRIVING ON TIKTOK AND META, fastcompany
Essay mills, which produce content for a fee, are touting that they combine both AI and human labor to create an end product that is undetectable by software designed to catch cheating — and they’re soliciting clients on TikTok. Back in my day, kids would pay other kids to write their essays; at least this is efficient.
HOW BARSTOOL BUILT AN EMPIRE BY SWIPING SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS, dailybeast
A Barstool spokesperson claimed they reach one-third of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the country. And now we know how they got to that figure! A new investigation by The Daily Beast found over 40 more anonymous Twitter accounts that are allegedly controlled by Barstool, effectively laundering “incalculable amounts of copyright-protected sports and entertainment videos” and racking up “billions of views over at least the last four years.”
YOUNG WOMEN VOTERS ARE MORE LIBERAL THAN YOUNG MEN, teenvogue
There’s a gender divide in how young people identify politically (men see themselves as more conservative while women, trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people are more liberal) and the podcasts they listen to (men are inclined to listen to The Joe Rogan Experience and The Ben Shapiro Show, while women are bigger fans of This American Life and The Daily). Sounds about right.
MOVE OVER, TWITTER, ER, X. LINKEDIN IS THE COOL PLACE TO BE., slate
I don’t know about “cool,” but the numbers don’t lie: The platform's revenue has surged, with a 41% increase in content posted from spring 2021 to spring 2023. LinkedIn users are sharing more personal content and building digital identities, particularly millennials and Gen Z professionals who only spend a year or two at any given job.
TIKTOK TOOK OVER SOCIAL MEDIA WITH ITS UNCANNY ALGORITHM – BUT AT WHAT COST?, theguardian
In their attempts to mimic the video-sharing site’s success, platforms like Facebook and YouTube might have signed their own death warrants. Leave it to Kate Lindsey to succinctly explain why and how TikTok took over.
Some people are attempting to resurrect that old social media feel by migrating to platforms like LinkedIn, which haven’t so drastically capitulated to TikTok’s culture. But it’s hard to find that same connection when over one billion people are hanging out somewhere else. By blindly prioritising discovery and public-facing algorithms over peer-to-peer connection in pursuit of cultural dominance, little remains of what made people join social media in the first place. TikTok may have won the social media war, but it left wreckage in its wake.
One last thought: