This Week’s Insights: Pinterest Is Changing Its Algorithm… Why We need curators, not algorithms… Instagram gets rid of “likes”… Background dancers are becoming stars (thanks to social media)… Why orchestras shouldn’t do “free”.
- Pinterest Rode To Success With Its Algorithm. Time To Move On: The social media platform has soared by driving massive numbers of users to viral content. But viral content. It encourages users to behave in certain ways, to portray themselves in ways that are rewarded by views and likes. And it may not be… healthy. “The company’s leaders say they want to map a different route to success in Silicon Valley, one that’s less meteoric and more humane. But in its first year as a public company, it faces a pivotal challenge: How to grow beyond a user base that has historically skewed toward white, suburban women without alienating loyalists, stereotyping newcomers, or potentially allowing for the spread of misinformation and radicalization.”
- Algorithms Versus Taste-makers: Radio station WNYC cancels a show that explored new music, giving listeners opportunities to find new artists. The station says it doesn’t want to have “playlist” shows, but host John Schaefer argues that leaving music choice to algorithms is not so much exploration as it is reinforcement of the taste you already have. As more and more of our choices in an exponentially more crowded world are driven by algorithms, we’re seeing the downsides.
- Instagram Removes “Likes” As It Looks For Different Way To Value Content: It’s easy to “like” things. Takes almost no effort, in fact. But perhaps too much emphasis on high “like” numbers measures the wrong thing. That in turn promotes certain kinds of content – content that inflames emotional response, for example. So all the platforms are looking at different ways for users to express how they feel about content. It’s a difficult proposition.
- Backup Dancers Are Becoming New Media Stars: Backup dancers used to be part of the background, and anonymous. But they aren’t very “backup” anymore; instead, like the 16-year-old who began touring with Janet Jackson at age 12 and is now a major social media influencer, they’re at the center of the conversation. That’s thanks to Instagram. “Internet popularity can be a dancer’s entree to choreographing and starring in their own videos.”
- Why Orchestras Shouldn’t Give Free Concerts: “Giving it away for free, whether by regularly scheduled programming or by striking or locked out musicians, is not getting the job done. It’s not growing audiences, it’s not building tons of new support, and — please hear this — it hurts us when people don’t see how much it costs to produce this art. [Here] are five reasons why free concerts are not serving us well.”