[–] csydas link

I get the feeling that this is park of what guides the decisions from the board. One need only look at YikYak to see what happens when you mess too much with your winning recipe and how fast users will leave what they love. Snapchat's essence, the temporary nature of content and posts, is at odds with the financial aspect of it.

I'm going to guess that they want to try to find a way to capitalize on the spirit of Snapchat without compromising what actually brings people to the service. Maybe there's a way of doing this where popular posters are able to show metrics to advertisers, or maybe such a scenario is seen as detrimental to the spirit of the service, but I absolutely appreciate Snap Inc's caution about mucking up the formula too much here.

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[–] kinkrtyavimoodh link

Would you feel like sending snaps if none of your friends sent you snaps or even replied to them by text message?

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[–] JumpCrisscross link

Yup. I like being able to share without anyone being obligated to see it. Sharing on Facebook carries, for me, some social burden--I don't want to pollute friends' timelines with things only I find fun. But on Snapchat, if you're watching my Snaps, you chose to swipe left into them. (I really hate messaging on Snapchat, in part due to its lack of end to end encryption.)

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[–] irahul link

I share this sentiment. I dump almost daily photos on whatsapp statuses. I won't do it on insta or fb(except on their analogous stories/status feature). I like posting updates but since I don't like when people clutter my wall with a lot of updates, I don't do it to others. The only people who see my updates are people who explicitly click on it to see it.

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[–] angryasian link

Facebook also has the stories feature, along with AR camera. I think it's just available through their app though.

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[–] burger_moon link

I use snapchat exclusively. It's fun, I never got into social media before. I post mostly to my story and only occasionally interact directly with other people. Mostly just making jokes about something they post to their story and visa-versa.

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[–] anilshanbhag link

I shared your skepticism of Snapchat (I use Instagram pretty often and browse Facebook multiple times a day - rarely post on it). I recently hopped on the Snapchat bandwagon and here are a couple of things I really liked:

> Less focus on metrics. There is no likes and you only see views if you really want to. This is bad for influencers but I have to give it that it is a good break from Instagram/Facebook where people are conscious of likes.

> Its fun. The filters and emoji are better on Snapchat. The maps feature is cool - I used it to browse snaps by Harvey/Irma victims. The Discover section has crappy publications but there is NYT, Mashable, WSJ, etc. I pay for WSJ but I still like to read news in the Snapchat format.

On the downside, the app is buggy and does crash pretty often for a 1.8k strength company.

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[–] foolfoolz link

insta has always been the status platform. the pictures are permanent. you only post your best pics and need a history of just the best. "this is who I am"

snapchat is fleeting. the quality can be lower. no one is gonna care. and the fact you have to take the picture then is more exciting than posting any old pic you found online. "this is what I'm doing"

I can snap you my beer, I'll insta the edited GoPro footage of me cliff jumping

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[–] burger_moon link

This is getting downvotes but it reflects very closely to what I see. I don't use insta but I go on to browse occasionally of people I follow on snapchat and it's a stark contrast of what you see on the two. Insta pictures are all perfect, perfect posing, perfect lighting, and some bs quote or string of text. Snapchat is the mundane, the normal side of people that I see. People taking videos in the moment.

I don't use fb live or insta stories so I'm not sure how those end up.

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[–] m-masa link

Snapchat to me is sharing your shaky drunken escapades at 3AM with your friends to let them know you made it home and survived the night. Instagram seems more like an endless observation of copy-and-paste, superficial things and people and places. It's evolved more into a (usually inaccurate) portrayal of status than anything else.

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[–] addicted link

The question is if that middle ground can support the $20bn SNAP valuation.

I would put my money on no. Snap seems like a worse version of Twitter IMO. Less value from a financial and social sense that was ridiculously overvalued at the IPO.

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[–] sjg007 link

Facebook needs to reorganize their metrics and at least fall in line with census estimates. At least have some plausible deniability.

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[–] erikb link

The bad thing about free market dynamics that you don't need to keep up user value once you hit market leadership. You just destroy the competition then nobody has a chance but use you.

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[–] vosper link

There's got to be a middle-ground between not going after the money as hard as Facebook, and their customers having no idea whether their spending is achieving anything. They're living in la-la land if they think they can keep the latter up, especially with the bad rap a lot of online advertising has been getting over the last few years. Advertisers need to have some idea of what's going on in the system, and with Snapchat's novelty fading they're not going to get away with "trust-us" much longer.

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[–] test1235 link

>enough to get paid six figures a year

six. figures.

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[–] sdfjkl link

> He credits Axe body spray with getting him out of the “friend zone.”

This makes money? It can't die fast enough.

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[–] k-mcgrady link

>> I wonder what will happen to a generation obsessed with idols who don't contribute anything to society

Unlike the previous couple of generations who contributed a global financial crisis, multiple unnecessary wars, massive environmental destruction, and a rising wave of racism and populism.

See, I can pick and choose things too.

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[–] mezuzi link

The previous too generations didn't have a "milo" preaching family values!!

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[–] zardo link

That's right! They had entirely different right wing celebrities preaching family values.

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[–] jedberg link

You mean like movie stars? We've had at least four generations now obsessed with movie stars. It's also been the century of greatest achievement for humankind.

Correlation isn't causation though. :)

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[–] jonahx link

> You mean like movie stars?

Looks get you in the door here, but the large majority of movie stars are experts in a legitimate art form -- acting.

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[–] jonknee link

What do you think social media celebrities are doing?

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[–] jonahx link

So you don't see a difference between, say, kim kardashian's instagram feed and what a top hollywood actress does?

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[–] justboxing link

> So you don't see a difference between

Nope. There is no difference. @jonknee is right. I once met this camera grip boy at a boxing fight watch here in San Francisco. He worked at various sets in L.A., very close to the filming. He would say how he was on Kim Kardashian's "Reality Show" and how the whole thing was completely scripted for shock effect, drama etc. He said "They'd sometime do retakes and tell Kim - "This time yell at your sister louder, and then throw in a I hate you B*tch at the end."

They are all actors. The only difference I see is hollywood actors are elite level, having gone to school, and experienced and top notch, whereas the likes of Kim Kardashian, that Jersey Shores girl are low end trash, but both types make a ton of money on 2 different medium - the former in big screen, the latter on fake "Reality TV shows", and social media (where they get paid to promote crap).

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[–] jonahx link

Interesting point.

I suppose if I press myself hard enough I have to admit that I just don't like what they are doing, and think it's a net negative to our culture, by my own standards.

There's always been lowbrow culture and pop culture -- so there's nothing essentially new here. But it seems like its ubiquity and popularity have reached new heights. "Seems" being the operative word, one could argue. I think it's really really hard to disentangle surface generational changes from true long-term shifts in major cultural values. Old man syndrome is mistaking the former for the latter. But there's also the opposite syndrome -- which is to insist that the latter doesn't even exist.

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[–] maruhan2 link

I just personally wish the entertainment industry isn't big in the first place. Movies, music, sports, models, etc. So much money and human resources spent on something that produces little tangible value.

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[–] sfifs link

“There are only two industries. This has always been true,” said Madame Ping, enfolding a lovely porcelain teacup in her withered fingers, the two-inch fingernails interleaving neatly like the pinions of a raptor folding its wings after a long hard day of cruising the thermals. “There is the industry of things, and the industry of entertainment. The industry of things comes first. It keeps us alive. But making things is easy now that we have the Feed. This is not a very interesting business anymore. “After people have the things they need to live, everything else is entertainment.

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[–] dredmorbius link

Diamond Age?

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[–] sfifs link

Yup :-)

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[–] dredmorbius link

Damned good book. Though I disagree with Mme. Ping here.

Funny for a book that's so rooted in tribes and tribalism that Stephenson didn't go with the classic cultural castes.

Roughly: Labourer, farmer, gatherer (forestry, fishes, herds, hunting), trades & crafts, merchant, warrior, priest (now includes teaching and science, also, arguably, storytellers), rulers. I get about eight out of that, off the top of my head.

Five of those are "things" (the first set). There's a case which might be made for priests and rulers as entertainment / storytelling, but I don't think I could put warriors there.

Which is an interesting omission given the Colonel's role in the story -- clearly Warrior. (Though also, given his media screens, very much taken with Story. Hrm....)

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[–] lawlessone link

We have a society that requires everyone to work to live. But thanks to automation we don't have anything else for them to do. So they do this.

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[–] rednerrus link

The Kardashians are a cautionary tale about what fame and fortune do to you.

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[–] pjc50 link

Interesting tangent here. The growth in "reality" TV was driven by the desire to ditch a very particular kind of skilled, unionised talent: writers. The writers' strike caused a wave of these improvised shows that were pretending not to be acting, they became popular with the public, and the rest is history.

Kim Kardashian's ethnicity is highly relevant as well. Hollywood is a very white place. There really aren't all that many opportunities for black character actresses. Or for people who want a black star to look up to. Kim fills that gap in the market.

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[–] sortaThrowaway link

"people who want a black star to look up to. Kim fills that gap in the market."

? Not sure what you mean. She isn't black.

Do you mean because Kanye is on there?

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[–] pjc50 link

.. good point, I can't remember why I thought that; almost certainly to do with Kanye.

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[–] mirimir link

Truth.

And remember, the Kardashians became celebrities at the OJ Simpson trial :)

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] specialist link

The last election cycle gave me the idea:

A reality TV show about making a reality TV show.

With The Garry Shandling Show, Entourage, political campaigns (and their documentaries), social influencers, paid placement, Spinal Tap...

Everything's so meta now, I can barely discern fact from fiction.

"All the world's a stage." -- Shakespeare

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[–] justboxing link

> A reality TV show about making a reality TV show

A success recipe right here.

Just like how the only bloggers who got rich in the early 2000s were the ones who were blogging about "How to get rich blogging".

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[–] TeMPOraL link

"Fifteen Million Merits", an episode of Black Mirror, went pretty much half-way there.

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[–] adventured link

You may not respect the skillset in question, however Kim Kardashian is an extraordinarily talented entertainer. She knows what to give her audience to keep them watching her. And she managed to climb to the top in an already hyper crowded celebrity atmosphere.

I don't particularly care for Howard Stern's style of entertainment as an example. Tens of millions of people in the US over the last several decades, have, however. He's an extraordinary entertainer. Ryan Seacrest falls under that same brush.

The other thing these people have in common, they've all regularly made smart business decisions, another skill they share.

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[–] puranjay link

If you were to draw a Venn diagram of "Hollywood stars" and "Actors known for acting skills", you'll get a tiny cross-section.

The majority of "stars" are known for their big budget blockbusters. I'm not saying that playing Iron Man or Ethan Hunt is easy, but it's definitely not as hard as playing a difficult character actor role.

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[–] umanwizard link

That doesn't disprove the point. Sure, the most famous actors might not be the best in the world at acting, but this is true of many fields. Is Bill Gates the most skilled programmer in the world?

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[–] ImSkeptical link

Bill Gates is famous for being a businessman, not a programmer. People know him because he's rich and led Microsoft - not because of the code he wrote. I think there's a pretty good argument that he is among the best businessmen in the world.

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[–] blubb-fish link

there is a difference ... any actress is an artist actually co-producing art in form of movies or plays. kim kardashian is merely publicly living a hedonistic and materialisitc life - nothing more.

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[–] jedberg link

She may not be an actress (although she's still probably better than many out there), but she is certainly a savvy businesswoman and marketeer. Don't discount her skills just because you can't recognize them.

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[–] blubb-fish link

and you think she is being idolized for being a businesswoman? That is just the reason for why she is able to sell herself so successfully - that doesn't change though that she doesn't have anything of value to offer.

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[–] TeMPOraL link

If you're looking at people not contributing anything meaningful to society, don't look at movie stars - look at those who write about movie stars, spinning the celebrity gossip industry.

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[–] jldugger link

Are we talking about millenials, or boomers here? Cuz the complaint seems it could lobbied at pretty much anyone.

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[–] barsonme link

All of the above, although I think millennials and Gen Z are demonstrably worse when it comes to vanity.

My mother's a 2nd grade teacher and does the usual "what do you want to be when you grow up?" bit each year. The last couple years she's had a very significant number of her students say "YouTube or Instagram star" instead of the usual firefighter/police officer/doctor/soldier/etc. (Also not the most disturbing trend to come from her recent batch(es) of kids.)

I'm really glad our country is at place where being funny on a social media website is enough to make a good living, but I can't help but feel there's something missing—something keeping them grounded.

I get that boomers and Gen Xers are vain—I love to rag on them, and, really, we all are vain to some extent—but millennials and Gen Z seem to be taking it to a different level.

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[–] derefr link

Is wanting to be a YouTube channel host really a marker of vanity? It's essentially saying that you want to be an actor, scriptwriter, director and entrepreneur for your own television series. It's the "solo app developer" equivalent for the entertainment industry. Like app developers, I would expect people to get into the business more out of a desire for freedom to set their own hours and not have a boss, than out of a desire to be seen. Except where programming is for introverts, screenwriting and acting comes more naturally to extroverts.

Basically, I see the "YouTube biz" as being much like stand-up comedy, but without the travelling.

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[–] barsonme link

I can agree with the extrovert/autonomy part.

To this, though

> Is wanting to be a YouTube channel host really a marker of vanity?

I'd say it's a good indicator. Not every channel will be like https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4mLlRa_dezwvytudo9s1sw or https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBackyardScientist with funny or informative skits.

Sometimes I'll open the 'search' part of Instagram and just scroll through the posts and wonder how so many people have their own brands when all the do is post selfies. I'd totally do it if I could. But it's definitely vanity.

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[–] irahul link

> I'd totally do it if I could.

This seems like the root of your issue.

> But it's definitely vanity.

The only people to use vanity as an insult are people who have nothing to be vain about.

Do you cover your grays? Do you wear flattering clothes? Do you buy nice phones? Why bother? It's all vain shit.

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[–] derefr link

There are two usages to the word "vanity." The one you're referring to has more to do with dignity (the desire to be respected by everybody.)

The property under scrutiny by the parent poster, though, is (I think) more like "narcissism"—the desire to be perceived as the best person ever by as many people as possible.

The desire for dignity is universal; whereas narcissism is a (rather uncommon) personality flaw.

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[–] irahul link

> dignity (the desire to be respected by everybody)

Weird. I thought dignity is self-respect(not respect from others).

So do you have a list of what earns you dignity vs what is narcissism? Like covering your gut in loose clothing is fine but god forbid you post your abs on insta where only people who see it are people who willingly followed you to see it and the people who went on to explore tab to see it and then jumped on hn to whine about it.

> the desire to be perceived as the best person ever by as many people as possible.

I don't know - sounds like ambition to me.

Insta has given aspiring models a mostly democratic platform. You don't have to be a size zero or white or what have you. Build your reach and you are a model. Same goes for youtube - it has vastly empowered indie content creators. Of course there are millions of people who post their photos seeking validation from friends and strangers but what of it? Humans have been seeking validation from strangers since time immemorial otherwise why have lavish weddings or expensive wedding rings or expensive cars...

IMO people complaining over overt insta sharing are self-righteous whiners. I see it on the same level as being outraged over Rebecca Black. Don't like it, don't seek it. You think you are better than others? Don't tell, go actually be better.

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[–] musage link

> So do you have a list of what earns you dignity vs what is narcissism? Like covering your gut in loose clothing is fine but

but what has it to do with dignity? And why would anyone need a "list"?

> Don't like it, don't seek it.

I can be aware of something and have an opinion about it without engaging in it. And I surely do not need your permission for that, and calling anything negative you don't like "complaining" without considering your own complaints as just silly.

> Build your reach and you are a model. Same goes for youtube - it has vastly empowered indie content creators.

Don't even need to go into models, they are there to sell product, but I'll just say that calling people "content creators" is like calling someone who is attacked as maybe not being such an earnest author a "page filler". That's the low we sunk to, that's already normalized. "Creating content" has as much "value" as people give it in form of "attention". The capitalism of the mind, the destruction of all information. Work 50 years, rob someone who worked 50 years, you can buy the exact same thing... get X views doing A, or X views doing B, it's still just X views.

I guess I should make a youtube video about it, then it'd be valid even if it called out other youtubers? Help me out here, since apparently typing a comment in a text box is not creating content if it rubs you the wrong way.

> Humans have been seeking validation from strangers since time immemorial

Yes, but that doesn't make it less dysfunctional, and others have been calling them out for being fucked in the head for just as long. The idea kinda is that you do not constantly "seek validation", but you already more or less have that figured out after a while, and then it's more about responsibilities and challenges and things you enjoy. And yes, it's fun to be liked. Just like it's fun to like people. But if validation and self-esteem are some kind of elusive fix you constantly have to seek, you're doing it wrong.

Last but not least: You're basically saying, if you found a bug, don't talk about it, fix your own copy and just use that. Fuck that. What would you know about ambition? What if my being better includes speaking my mind? Riddle me that.

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[–] irahul link

> but what has it to do with dignity? And why would anyone need a "list"?

Conversations have context, you know. Parent poster mentioned dignity being different. Did you not read the or are you intentionally clipping it.

> "Creating content" has as much "value" as people give it in form of "attention"

Is..is that supposed to be an insult or some deep insight you stumbled onto? I don't understand why you are stating the obvious with such conviction and quotes.

> Work 50 years, rob someone who worked 50 years, you can buy the exact same thing... get X views doing A, or X views doing B, it's still just X views.

You are kinda going off the rails here buddy.

> I guess I should make a youtube video about it, then it'd be valid even if it called out other youtubers? Help me out here, since apparently typing a comment in a text box is not creating content if it rubs you the wrong way.

Cool. Now you are making up arguments on my behalf and posting your retorts.

> You're basically saying, if you found a bug, don't talk about it, fix your own copy and just use that.

That doesn't even come close to being an analogy.

> What would you know about ambition?

I can explain that to you. Or you can go back and read the conversation again, slowly.

> What if my being better includes speaking my mind? Riddle me that.

Maybe try to be actually ambitious rather than being content with raging over people doing better than you.

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[–] musage link

> Conversations have context, you know. Parent poster mentioned dignity being different. Did you not read the or are you intentionally clipping it.

No, I got that. And then I asked, why would one need a "list of activities" to make that point? I don't see how that would work, seeing how those activities also have contexts and motivations which matter. It's like "taking bread from a place and putting it somewhere else" can be various things like making breakfast, stealing food, giving food, playing with food.

> You are kinda going off the rails here buddy.

Off what rails? Your comment was an own goal, I'm just beating a dead horse.

> Maybe try to be actually ambitious rather than being content with raging over people doing better than you.

It's more mocking people who I consider lame. Which brings us back to your projected "Now you are making up arguments on my behalf and posting your retorts." haha.

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[–] irahul link

> And then I asked, why would one need a "list of activities" to make that point? I don't see how that would work, seeing how those activities also have contexts and motivations which matter.

All right. I will give it a last try. You would need a "list" if you are the one making a point that hiding your gut is just dignity while posting your abs online is narcissism. I was pointing out to parent poster that this point is not conducive as your are defining dignity and narcissism to suit your point of view. I don't understand how you missed it when it's written verbatim in the comment you replied to.

> Your comment was an own goal, I'm just beating a dead horse.

And here we go again. You think of something and put it down in your comment irrespective of context. What dead horse are you beating and why does this phrase make an appearance out of blue here?

> It's more mocking people who I consider lame.

At least we have the same agenda here. I too enjoy mocking bottom feeders who write diatribes out of their jealousy for people leading a better and more fulfilled lives than them.

> Which brings us back to your projected "Now you are making up arguments on my behalf and posting your retorts." haha.

Again, I am sure you think you have a point here and I am supposed to have an epiphany when I grok it, but honestly, all I see is random sentences chained together. I once saw a video of some pastor who brought a rock to a talk show as an irrefutable proof against evolution. I am kinda feeling the same as the talk host felt.

Cool man. You do you. Continue "caring for others" by, uh, posting comments on hn I suppose, and "being better", uh, again by posting comments on hn.

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[–] barsonme link

> This seems like the root of your issue.

I'd do lots of things if I could, but I don't rag on all of them.

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[–] toast0 link

> The last couple years she's had a very significant number of her students say "YouTube or Instagram star"

When I was growing up, lots of people wanted to be Movie/TV stars. I think YouTube stardom has lowered the barrier to making being vapid a carrier choice.

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[–] arkitaip link

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

-- Some Greek Guy, like really long time ago.

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[–] shpx link

[This quote] was crafted by a student, Kenneth John Freeman, for his Cambridge dissertation published in 1907.

https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/01/misbehaving-childre...

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[–] ringaroundthetx link

Still aging quite well to show the relativity (or constant) of people's perceptions

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[–] point78 link

Too funny, literally since the beginning of time every generation has been complaining about "those damn kids"!!

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[–] barsonme link

I'm just relaying the perceptions of a teacher who's been teaching children since the '80s ;-)

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[–] jedberg link

Just replace Youtube Star with Movie star. At least growing up in LA, lots of my friends wanted to be movie stars and rock stars. Some of them actually are now.

They apparently provide value to someone, because they make millions of dollars.

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[–] inimino link

> They apparently provide value to someone, because they make millions of dollars.

I would be careful with that kind of reasoning.

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[–] fooker link

That is more or less the definition of providing value.

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[–] michaelt link

Bernie Madoff made millions of dollars without producing any value.

I don't think making millions of dollars is the definition of producing value.

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[–] TeMPOraL link

That is the definition of providing monetary value to someone, not actual value to society. The two are correlated, but weakly.

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[–] urspx link

>he last couple years she's had a very significant number of her students say "YouTube or Instagram star" instead of the usual firefighter/police officer/doctor/soldier/etc.

To be fair, I'd rather be a youtube star than a professional murderer, too.

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[–] KGIII link

Which one of those professions is a professional murderer?

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[–] arkadiytehgraet link

At the very least - police officer and soldier.

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[–] KGIII link

Murder is unlawful killing. Neither of those are professional murderers, by default. Some have murdered, but that's not usually why we hire them.

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[–] JumpCrisscross link

> "YouTube or Instagram star" instead of the usual firefighter/police officer/doctor/soldier/etc...disturbing trend

Does your mother moralise her second graders' choices like this? (I'd guess not.) The number of people helped or even saved by movement leaders or other cultural icons can easily exceed the contributions of the public sector roles you described. I don't see why "Instagram star" is that different from "movie star" or "astronaut" for that matter. (It certainly seems better than "football player.")

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[–] barsonme link

I don't think it's moralizing to acknowledge that certain career choices lend themselves to vanity. I mean, we can come up with other less-than-desirable traits for other careers like programming, can't we?

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[–] mahyarm link

Vs. rapper, or sports player? An IG / youtube star is being a lower-middle class celebrity, which is actually a first in many ways.

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[–] nl link

Vs. rapper, or sports player? An IG / youtube star is being a lower-middle class celebrity, which is actually a first in many ways

What on earth does lower-middle class celebrity mean here? Where does the alleged class difference come from?

There are many valid criticisms of YouTube/IG stars, but is Michelle Phan really lower-middle class compared to say Nicki Minaj?! Because lots of the private-school mums I know are more than happy to watch Michelle Phan with their daughters but ban Nicki Minaj.

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[–] mahyarm link

By class I meant income level, not culture.

In the past being a profitable artist meant superstardom or poverty, with a rare few in between with middle class incomes. Now with Youtube/patreon, there is a good chunk of 'middle class artists' that are developing today that didn't exist in the numbers that these platforms created.

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[–] DaiPlusPlus link

Is it the new "featured in the local newspaper once"?

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[–] ringaroundthetx link

No, its "making six figures if you nail a niche" once.

Like the grown men dressing up as Elsa from Frozen and Spiderman and recording two minutes of weird sounds, just because they figured out why the analytics said 35 year old women watched that, while the marketers couldn't figure out that it meant their kids were seeing it on internet connected toys that happened to play youtube videos.

Anyone can do it, for now.

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[–] pmontra link

I guess it's hard to ascend to stardom. What's the ratio between stars and non stars? Stars have to stand among other people. If everybody is a star nobody is. Those kids are going to be as deluded as every past generation or are looking forward to a more difficult battle.

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[–] interstitial link

When dealing with social ratios, the safest bet is 20% of the stars get 80% of the views. If it were otherwise, someone should write a paper, it would be huge news.

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[–] doldge link

This is tangential, but I believe vanity has been increasing with every generation for a while now. Each generation is more vain then the generation that came before it.

I don't know if that statement holds beyond the last 100 years, but certainly it does till then. I would chalk it up to being the result of the communications expansion, with each year our audience increases (by virtue of our increasing ability to travel the world, and by the ever expanding internet), and with that expanding audience comes a desire for us to be liked by the greatest number of them, which involves out-competing everyone else.

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[–] jrimbault link

Or it's just an illusion. https://xkcd.com/1227/

The only "valid" (imo) complaint in this comic is in 1905:

>"The profession of letters is so little understood"

I wish the humanities played a larger role in our engineered society. I see a lot of technical people who've never read Popper (which is relevant to technical fields) or any other philosopher (which are always good reading, or at least interesting).

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[–] pjc50 link

> I can't help but feel there's something missing

Expectations of livable pay from those jobs? Favourable media presentation of them?

Is it vanity or just adapting to the new economy?

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[–] remarkEon link

>I'm really glad our country is at place where being funny on a social media website is enough to make a good living, but I can't help but feel there's something missing—something keeping them grounded.

I am the opposite of "glad" about this. It's highly concerning to me. My sister is also a school teacher and her students are just 4th graders and see this as legitimate life goals. Think of how that forms the development of a young child.

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[–] irahul link

> Think of how that forms the development of a young child.

It depends.

Option 1:

"Hey buddy. So you want to be a youtube star. Which ones you like? The funny ones? The lifters? The fashion vloggers? It's actually a lot of work. You will need a script, a cameraman, a director, actors etc. And all said and done, for every youtube star, there are tens of thousands who just toil in obscurity. But that's a risk which comes with a lot of life's decisions and you can decide later on if you really want to do it or if you want to do it part time.

Back to the production process. It's not very different from what we do in our school's theater except that there is a massive potential increase in your reach. Why don't you try coming up with a concept and I can walk you through the iterations it takes for the final product. We can even try to schedule a screening for the class and put it on youtube."

Option 2:

"Youtube star? SMH. What has become of today's generation?"

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[–] dingaling link

> and see this as legitimate life goals.

Well at least it is a goal.

When I was in secondary school in the UK ( mid-1980s ) career guidance was just being introduced as a concept. I think it was a couple of half-hour sessions one year and then being left with a folder of job descriptions.

So most of us in my year left school and picked a university course without having any career goal or aspiration. I am mid-40s now and still don't know what I want to do but unfortunately it is too late for many opportunities.

I have a good friend who was the school sports champion and even she just fell into an unrelated career by accident.

If kids today want to be YouTube stars then that's great, hopefully it will give them an objective and a reason to study particular subjects instead of "the teacher seems nice" or "I need to pick one subject from that category"

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[–] princeb link

they will create a rapidly evolving and flourishing entertainment industry, of which globally, america has the largest. this in turn boosts growth in related industries fashion, marketing, online retail, and of these the US is probably also the largest in all three.

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[–] justicezyx link

I am not sure how much you really see what the OP is asking...

The OP is asking, what will happen when a generation of human are indulged in useless idols.

Then you continue to describe an industry out of useless idols and their fans...

Hack, I am not surprised by this type of apparently startlingly myopic vision of human society. It seems everything is just for profit. No matter how stupid the thing is, if there is a chance for profit, then go for it.

In the end, who can answer the simple question: Who create the value to drive the profit?

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[–] sjg007 link

The value is the entertainment escape (dopamine rush) that meme or idol generates in your synapses. Typically a YouTube idol has to have done something interesting e.g. Music etc.. so it's a creative space. Cat chez burgers was a big meme factory at one point doing millions.

Buy an ad and your customer might remember it. Create a meme and you live forever.

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[–] eksemplar link

Entertainment isn't really an industry though. It produces nothing of real value and relies on being financed by those who do.

There is a reason Bollywood is a more profitable "industry" than Hollywood, and it's not because their product is better. It's because their society actually nets a profit from production that they can then spend on leisure.

If our best and brightest young children become internet celebrities because it made good sense, then there won't be anyone to keep the gears grinding.

Worse than that, on instagram you're still the product being sold even when you're then one being followed.

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[–] irahul link

> If our best and brightest young children become internet celebrities because it made good sense, then there won't be anyone to keep the gears grinding.

So do you also support not educating a vast majority of children because if everyone aspires to be a white collar worker, where will we get our janitors and garbage men from.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] Keeeeeeeks link

One could say the same of lobbying, but there's still a funnel from lobbying straight into government/private sector (and vice versa, depending on who you ask).

Whether you like it or not, entertainers produce goods or entertainment-related services within an economy. That's the definition of an industry.

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[–] PhasmaFelis link

I'm not clear on the difference you're asserting between Hollywood and Bollywood.

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[–] handsomechad link

I was racking my brain trying to figure this out as well. someone pray tell

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[–] na85 link

99% of the web produces nothing of any value either.

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[–] swang link

almost every "old" generation says this about the "new" generation. you can go back and look at articles and magazines that say the same thing about your generation.

and when i say "your generation" i don't even know which "generation" you are. it doesn't matter since most likely there's been a negative article written about your age group regardless of how old you actually are.

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[–] odiroot link

I tend to be really careful with this generational judgement.

I'm 30 myself and I find a lot about my parents' generations to be good and naturally a lot bad things as well.

Now I'm frequently really tired of my generation (Gen Y, I guess) and, surprisingly, find recently that I'm really hopeful about Gen Z. They're like more polished version of us. Maybe it's an effect of growing up in post-financial-crisis world.

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[–] jpetso link

Nah, they just haven't had the time and opportunity to gain and abuse power, or to become disillusioned. They'll be just as questionable as ourselves when they're our age. In different ways.

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[–] rowyourboat link

Socrates famously complained about the lack of the youth's manners and respect.

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[–] majani link

If you go back as far as Socrates, he was against the youth reading books in an age where intellectuals were known for reciting literature by heart. So yes, you are just old and grumpy.

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[–] erikb link

You think this is different from previous generations? Please. Every generation is like that when they are around 14.

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[–] tw04 link

Correct. But previous generations didn't have adults catering to 14 year olds either. Can you imagine Walter Cronkite quoting "@hotmom2277 says Vietnam sucks realz badz y0" on the nightly news? Me either...

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[–] erikb link

Of course they had. Who do you think worked at MTV back in the day? These were all 30+ years old acting like they were 14 themselves and making good money with it.

It just feels natural if all you know is how to act like a 14 year old and haven't been 30 yet to see how weird it looks from the other side of the table.

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[–] tw04 link

MTV wasn't considered a serious news outlet at any point in history. Comparing an entertainment channel from 30 years ago to legitimate journalists is a pretty poor comparison - ignoring the fact MTV didn't exist until years after the Vietnam war was over.

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[–] bluthru link

>Every generation is like that when they are around 14.

Who were the "idols who don't contribute anything to society" up until the 1940s when "teenagers" were invented? In the grand scheme of things this is still a very recent phenomenon.

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[–] nl link

Our sires' age was worse than our grandsires'. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt

Horace, 20 BC

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[–] bluthru link

We're talking about idols.

Also, assuming that any generation can't be worse in some ways than others isn't useful.

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[–] econner link

I doubt things have changed that much. Certain individuals are more visible now, but I'm sure there are still plenty of people who are not obsessed with these things.

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[–] NTDF9 link

There are a few kids who end up gaining success out of vanity.

But so so so many kids destroy their lives chasing popularity. Looks like more and more kids will learn it the hard way.

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[–] bduerst link

I was reading an SCP involving memetic viruses and couldn't help but think about how much internet memes drown out the chance to read newer content.

/get off my lawn

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[–] fleitz link

They'll get old and then complain about the new generation doing the same thing.

Just like those geezers in The Clash complained about 'phoney beatle mania'

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[–] irahul link

> who don't contribute anything to society aside from memes, hot bodies and various rants

Just like all other mediums of popular media.

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[–] ikeyany link

They'll keep the psychiatrists employed for decades, wondering why internet fame isn't fulfilling.

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[–] irahul link

> wondering why internet fame isn't fulfilling.

I feel internet fame is more fulfilling than being a nobody slaving in a 9-5 job. And there is also easy endorsement money which comes with the fame.

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[–] ikeyany link

I would agree that in itself, working 9-5 is unfulfilling.

But most people see work as a means to a more fulfilling end.

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[–] irahul link

I don't have a particular affinity towards or against insta influencers or youtube stars. I just find the comments amusing.

"I am so much better than insta influencers because, uh, I have a job? I don't seek validation from strangers? I am not sure but I sure know that they are the downfall of the humanity"

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[–] ikeyany link

I think generally yes, we as a society look down on those who are starved enough for attention and validation to constantly need it from strangers. That's pretty much how society has always been.

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[–] pravda link

Is any kind of fame fulfilling?

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[–] ikeyany link

Of course. Though it depends on what you were looking to get out of it.

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[–] blubb-fish link

> But I guess I'm just old and grumpy.

No, I think you have a point.

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[–] whipoodle link

To paraphrase Frank Zappa, pheeeeeeuw.

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[–] type-2 link

Good guess

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[–] eksemplar link

I wonder what will happen to a generation obsessed with idols who don't contribute anything to society aside from memes, hot bodies and various rants.

But I guess I'm just old and grumpy.

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[–] TeMPOraL link

Yeah. I really hate marketning newspeak.

There exist well-known words that describe this occupation perfectly. Advertisers. Salesmen.

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[–] na85 link

Influencers are leaving Snapchat? Fantastic!

Influencers are just advertisers.

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[–] rfdub link

Easily. I know a few people from my agency days who had sub 100K followers made $50K+ annually (and got a bunch of free trips) through paid promotion.

Personally I find it kind of depressing that bikini babes and comedy bros are making that kind of money for that kind of "work," but in a society as obsessed with fame, youth and beauty as our is, it shouldn't be that surprising.

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[–] creaghpatr link

$7 per follower seems insane- and a certain percent of those accounts are brands or other non-human?

Edit: had the numbers flipped

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[–] tgb link

Sorry, wouldn't it be $1/7 = 14cents per follower?

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[–] jmiserez link

The other way round: 100k/700k = 0.14$ per follower.

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[–] steveadoo link

$7? I think you mean $.14?

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[–] thinbeige link

> Wes “Wuz Good” Armstrong has almost 700,000 followers on Instagram, enough to get paid six figures a year to promote

Can anyone with insights into Instagram marketing confirm? Do 700k followers make you min. 100k a year?

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[–] cocktailpeanuts link

Snapchat started out as person to person app but at some point decided they will become person to world app (via snapchat stories), and it was doing well, to the point where most users use the stories feature more than the 1:1 feature.

Then came Instagram and ate their lunch. Now they can't go back because they have already IPO'd with the ad-driven business model (instead of somehow capitalizing on the ephemeral nature of the medium, which would have been much harder for FB/Instagram to copy).

So yeah, this is why people keep comparing these two.

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[–] erikb link

Because both fight for the same audience: everybody. Whoever wins the game for everybody will beat the other and move it to a side corner. A little like FB and G+. Do you know anybody on G+? So even if it's better for 1:1 you can't use it, because the other 1 is not on G+.

And currently it looks like everybody's betting on Instagram killing Snapchat in that battle.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] kneel link

Not sure why people keep comparing these apps.

Snapchat is a much more person to person app whereas Instagram is a person to world app.

Not a surprise that money would go into instagram.

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[–] hack4supper link
[–] forkLding link

Couldn't read whole article because of paywall but I agree, Snapchat has done certain things to not become Instagram, it will be harder to monetize but it doesn't disrupt the Snapchat personal feel as compared to Instagram's "Social Media" feel where your life is always on display.

Moreover, I've started an app, did some questioning and first-year university students don't even add new friends on Facebook anymore when they come to university as compared to those who did this the year before. However, they add each other on Snapchat and follow occasionally on Instagram.

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[–] sjg007 link

I think people want person to person as it's more intimate. Then you can have world to person as well. However it becomes harder for early adopters to scale out and become mini celebrities etc... but for friend or small groups? Dunno seems like there is a market.

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[–] Roritharr link

I don't think kids have only started doing stupid things when they discovered Snapchat/Instagram...

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[–] wallflower link

I agree and I want to clarify that Snapchat/Instagram/Twitter have created an amplification such that while kids may have done stupid things in the past, they are more likely to do it for an audience of their peers. The most mainstream example being YTers like Jake Paul who has taken MTV's Jackass into the New Media age. The less common examples being kids who are so self absorbed in their own world that they fail to take responsibility for what their actions incur. It is possible these teenagers who started the fire will escape consequences and (modern fire prevention techniques aside) the true tragedy is that the actions of a small group of individuals have affected the larger society irreparably. Like a jackass motorcycle rider weaving between cars on a major highway at 100+ mph, it is when your actions affect innocent bystanders that you are no longer just "selfie expressing".

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[–] Nanite link

Well at least nowadays, they're more likely to self-incriminate.

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[–] wallflower link

I'm sorry for posting this here, in advance. However, this Like/Peer Approval culture has indirectly contributed to one of the worst wildfires in Oregon's history.

> A woman who was hiking over the weekend in the Columbia River Gorge said Tuesday that she happened across a teenager who threw "a smoke bomb" into Eagle Creek Canyon, igniting the now 10,000-acre Eagle Creek fire.

Liz FitzGerald, 48, of Portland said she's fairly certain that she heard the teenager's friends -- including a boy who was video-recording with his cellphone and some girls in the group -- giggle as the firework dropped down a cliff and into the trees below.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2...

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[–] mezuzi link

Facebook has become a yahoo. Too confusing and the ads are so "intrusive." A couple days ago, I clicked on what I thought was a photo which turned to be a daily-mail news story!!! It was confusing. I never used spapchat, but it kinda sounds like the old facebook which was fun and had a moderate amount of ads.

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[–] hkmurakami link

$SNAP is already heavily shorted with ~17% short interest.

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[–] afinlayson link

With this, plus Apple ARKit should people start to short SNAP?

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