Tuesday, February 8, 2022

TikTok beats Meta!

 I recently purged all my social media apps from my phone. I still have all my accounts active because, without them, I'd face social isolation. Many of my friends are from different parts of the world, so I communicate with them through Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Basically, I can't fully remove myself from these tech giants, even though I'd like to. 

Instagram is a bit stupid, though. The desktop version is severely limited, but I found a way to use it. There's a Chrome extension! It makes Instagram function like it would on your phone's browser. So, you can do almost everything you could on your phone. 

I had to redownload Instagram back onto my phone, though, because I forgot my password. The one thing that truly sucks about all these major social media apps (save for Twitter and Tumblr) is how difficult it is to change your password should you forget it. So, I re-downloaded the app to fix my problem. 

During that time, I noticed Google Play's leader board.

For as long as I can remember, Instagram and Facebook completely dominated the app store. They were always at number one. They snidely sat there while other apps couldn't even hope to reach their ubiquity.

I was happy to see, though, that TikTok beat all the Meta properties out for the number one spot. 

Now, I don't love TikTok; in fact, I don't really understand the appeal at all. I still have one, though, because a couple of my friends are properly TikTok famous, so I want to support them. 

In my mind, both Meta apps and TikTok are equally dangerous. Both are addictive, both propagate the spread of misinformation, and both are huge conglomerates that monopolize our market. 

Basically, all monopolies are extremely dangerous. When a private company becomes huge, they become untouchable. So they can, essentially, shape our society both politically and culturally to fit their interests. The 2016 election is evidence enough that omnipotent conglomerates are a menace. 

What I'm saying is that trading one huge media conglomerate for another isn't a good thing. Historically, all conglomerates act the same. So, why do I care that TikTok beat Meta on the Google Store chart? 

Like I said, ever since MySpace bit the dust, Meta apps have always come out on top. There have been runner-ups (Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter), but it's always Zuckerberg's gang looking down on the rest of humanity. 

Essentially, I have a grudge against Meta. I've always wanted to see them fail. 

Every time Zuckerberg goes to court because Facebook did something unethical, they always come out unscathed. When people start to leave Facebook for a superior social media platform, Zuckerberg just buys it up, as was the case with Instagram. 

Now, with the frightening prospect of the Metaverse, I really want to see Zuckerberg's reign come to a close. 

Of course, TikTok's place as the number one most downloaded app on Google Play doesn't really mean anything. In fact, WhatsApp (a Meta-owned property) has the number one spot on Apple Store's top downloaded app. More people have iPhones than Androids, so it seems that Meta is still on top. 

From Statista

It may also be true that the reason TikTok supersedes Instagram on Google Play is that TikTok is newer, therefore more people have to download it. 

After all we've collectively been through (pandemic, climate crisis, police shootings, etc.), it sometimes feels like nothing will change. It feels like those who are on top will always be there, while the rest of us are one medical bill away from homelessness. 

I'd really love to see the U.N. or the U.S. step in and break up all the monopolies, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, it's the small victories that count. 

It's nice to see a little bit of competition for the greatest, most dangerous conglomerate. 

I hope you end up on the street, Zuckerberg! Maybe you can share a box with Bezos! 

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