Use Your Words

If only there were some way to quantify just how much people dislike Elon Musk. Oh, wait, maybe there is. After just a few days, Threads, the Twitter clone that has enticed users disillusioned with the now-soiled original, boasts 100 million users. One lesson here is that people really like communicating in pithy text blurbs (lucky for me, as that’s my only real skill). Another lesson is that Facebook might be a lot better at copying other successful products than creating new, cutting edge experiences of their own. The success of the simple and familiar Threads is the obverse of Meta’s much grander plans for the Metaverse. Even people who bought NFTs at their peak are shocked by how quickly the Metaverse has been loaded into a Metahearse. Kate Wagner in The Nation: Lessons From the Catastrophic Failure of the Metaverse. “Since the virtual reality service’s launch in 2021, the so-called ‘successor to the mobile internet’ became the recipient of a kind of soaring hype few things are ever blessed with. According to Insider, McKinsey claimed that the Metaverse would bring businesses $5 trillion in value. Citi valued it at no less than $13 trillion. There was only one problem: The whole thing was bullshit. Far from being worth trillions of dollars, the Metaverse turned out to be worth absolutely bupkus. It’s not even that the platform lagged behind expectations or was slow to become popular. There wasn’t anyone visiting the Metaverse at all. The sheer scale of the hype inflation came to light in May. In the same article, Insider revealed that Decentraland, arguably the largest and most relevant Metaverse platform, had only 38 active daily users.” (OK, but in fairness, they were really active.)

+ Interactive chat programs are here to stay and it probably makes sense that after the intense interest in shiny, new AI programs that ChatGPT would see its first-ever user decline in June. But it’s worth watching internet citizens move away from ChatGPT and towards yet another simple tool that lets us exchange words with one another. Tech is always innovating and now it’s giving us AI and machine automation, but what we’re really starving for is the thing tech age has often threatened: good old fashioned basic human connection. Need some? Follow me on Threads. (Or any of the other Twitter clones, I’m on all of them…)

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