We’re seeing a surge of platforms self-sabotaging and choosing to suddenly restrict access to their content. These are all blatant attempts to trap users by digging a moat around the communities that they’ve created.
I can think of 3 obvious reasons why this might all be happening now as opposed to any time over the past decade:
- The content on social media platforms is valuable for AI training, and platforms want to capitalize on or keep that value for themselves.
- The recent, high-interest-rate environment has companies cutting costs in ways they might not before, and subsidizing API access for third party developers is no longer a bill they’re willing to foot.
- The bad behavior of platforms is creating a more competitive environment as new challengers spring up (Bluesky, Posts, Mastodon, and Threads all come to mind).
Those seem obvious, but are they really the cause? Is it one more than the other? Or something else entirely?
I wonder how much of this trend is really just a domino effect of CEOs realizing that they can get away with screwing over their users because they saw Elon Musk (or some other robber baron) get away with it.