Short videos, for social media to change and better profile us

Today more and more the audience prefers short videos. The success of from Tok it clearly proves it: the short videos they are the format of the moment. With over 700 million active users, Tik Tok is the third largest social network in the world by number of users. And right now it’s the only platform capable of challenging the excessive power of Silicon Valley Big Tech.

Music, promotion is now done with “short videos”: numbers and trends

Compared to the social networks of the Meta group, TikTok has a competitive advantage: the videos are very short, users watch dozens during each session and in a few hours the platform algorithm is able to build an accurate model of tastes and the interests of users. It’s like a kind of quick learning.

The difference with long videos

Data mining algorithms cannot be read in videos and therefore need many visualizations to perfect the knowledge of the users.

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EL long Youtube videos they allow in-depth analysis and offer a great advantage to the user looking for in-depth information. But they present a weakness for the casual user and advertisers. It is difficult for the user to view more than one video per session and is therefore necessary long time to create a user profileoffer them personalized content and sell the information to advertisers.

So it’s no surprise that Youtube was launched in late 2020 Youtube shorts, the section dedicated to videos of less than 60 seconds. For some time now this functionality has arrived Also in Italyand Youtube promotes it with ads and a financial fund that rewards the most interesting authors.

How to make short videos

Short videos are the new frontier of digital business models. The author can make the video with the smartphone, select an audio among those on which Youtube has the right to use, thanks to agreements with major record labels, upload the video and then meninsert visual and video effects. Fast, simple and non-native digital process.

In fact, based on the data published by the company, the users who create shorts and see them are not teenagers, but users over 40 years old. It is a very interesting fact. These users will probably end up in Tik Tok sooner or later, but Youtube has kept them loyal to Shorts.

Meta reels on Instagram and Facebook

Obviously too Meta is at the forefront of short videos. EL rodet (15-second video) appeared on Instagram shortly after the Tik Tok explosion. And in recent months they have also been enabled on Facebook. Kittens, shocked ballets, pretty girls are some of the dominant themes of this new format that is based on voracious enjoyment, repetitive visual effects, frantic zapping and super fast algorithms.

Both on Tik Tok and on Youtube and Meta, creativity is constructed according to repeated patterns thanks to the very precise format and the visual effects available, which take advantage of creativity in a somewhat obvious result.

Unlike other formats, the algorithm does it all on its own. A few sessions are enough to identify the user’s tastes, after which it’s just a matter of bombarding him repeatedly with videos of his likely taste.

The shadows of the short video format

The format of the shorts, however, is not without shadows. Algorithms become even more dominant, compared to standard usage. The user does not search, he is overwhelmed by the recommended videos. The way platforms work is increasingly one dark boxable to know ourselves more than ourselves.

Yuval Noah Harari, the great Israeli historian has pointed out this problem on several occasions. Social media has figured out how to hack our minds.

Knowledge about brain chemistry, computational power in the order of terabit, and the collection of scientific data has been transformed. our mind in a transparent aquarium where our impulses, desires, interests are perfectly intercepted by algorithms, which instead, as it happens, are secreted, protected by patents and hidden.

Video short films only worsen this dynamic, accentuating the informational asymmetry between what we know about platforms and what platforms know about us.

The need for European regulation

It is an unequal struggle. One needs to be built strict regulation on the transparency of algorithms. The European Union is moving in this direction. And it is a necessary action, to restore the balance of power between media and users.

Many objections have been raised to this reflection, in the name of the fact that algorithms are accessible only to experts and technicians, with programming, mathematical and statistical skills. It’s a literally pointless argument. We knew nothing about micro and macronutrients, when the legislation established that it was necessary to indicate on the labels the composition of food, calories and the main nutritional principles.

This legislation has not only fostered transparency and cornered food producers, but has also fostered the spread of a healthy and conscious food culture. Today we are in exactly the same situation in the context of platforms.

Strict rules are needed to increase the transparency of software and algorithms, to challenge Big Tech and bring to light manipulation techniques, which are sometimes present in algorithms.

The new social networks on the web3 focus on transparency

It’s a battle that has just begun, but it can’t be won if alternatives to the mastery of the algorithm are not built. Under the hat of the web3 new social networks like DeSo, Mastodon, Streemit, Minds, Solcial are emerging that make transparency their banner. At the moment they are microscopic realities compared to network giants, but if they could find a key to growing, they could spur greater transparency even on Silicon Valley platforms.

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