Are Facebook, WhatsApp running the last lap? Days of social media are numbered, says Reddit co-founder

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New Delhi | Updated: December 10, 2018 4:01:32 PM

"We've reached the ceiling," Ohanian said.

(Reuters)

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, has given a warning that the world has reached the “peak social” as days are numbered for big social network sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook which, he says, are near a saturation point. He has reasoned that more and more users are turning to private messaging apps.

“I believe that we’ve hit peak social,” Ohanian was quoted as saying. “We’ve reached the ceiling.”

Ohanian who was speaking at Business Insider’s Ignition conference, where he named Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as all having peaked.

Ohanian founded Reddit back in 2005 and is now on its board. The popular message board site is spread into forums, which are known as Subreddits, which Ohanian is positive, will be providing a future “for social media sites based around smaller groups.”

Reddit whose moderators are largely made up of volunteers, whereas Facebook has paid workers as moderators for its content.

Ohanian has said that apps such as Signal, Telegram, Discord and WhatsApp that allow users to hide their identity in encrypted conversations, were gaining popularity. He attributed it to “people seem to be clamoring for more and more now is community, and so whether that goes to private group chats — like your WhatsApp group, your Signal group — or new platforms that have emerged.”

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While distrust for social media has grown after the major data scandal that rocked Facebook this year. Similarly, Facebook-owned Whatsapp had recently come under fire in India for its failing to curb fake news that went viral and led to mob lynchings due to child-kidnapping rumours in different parts of the country.

Disinformation and use of social media platforms leading to divisive content is something the big social media networks have been forced to confront.

However, Ohanian’s observation doesn’t seem to hold countries such as India where numbers seems to grow considering the greater mobile and internet penetration in the country.

As per a 2017 report published by investment firm Omidyar Network, on an average, an Indian user spends 200 minutes a day on mobile apps. The average mobile internet user in India, the report continues, spends almost 70 per cent of their time on social media, music and entertainment apps. Out of the 70 per cent of the time, an Indian user is on social and entertainment, 38 percent of that time is spent only on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

The above observation prove that as internet data becomes more affordable for Indians, a big window of opportunity can be seen.

Apps such as Tik Tok and ShareChat which are available in Indian languages are doing pretty well in India.

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