Март 2019 — Заметка №15

Гигантская статья про социальные сети и теорию социального капитала. “Status as a Service (StaaS)”: https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2019/2/19/status-as-a-service

Статья сложная: и написана не самым простым языком и предлагаемые концепции требуют осмысления. Я ее прочитал в несколько подходов, но остался очень доволен.

Автор берет два утверждения:

И рассматривает работу различных социальных сетей через них.

Например концепция proof of work: социальный капитал (лайки, фолловеры, etc) имеет ценность только когда его непросто получить. В Инстграме надо запостить интересное фото, в Твиттере — забавный твит в 280 символов.

— Each new social network issues a new form of social capital, a token.
— You must show proof of work to earn the token.
— Over time it becomes harder and harder to mine new tokens on each social network, creating built-in scarcity.

Almost every social network of note had an early signature proof of work hurdle. For Facebook it was posting some witty text-based status update. For Instagram, it was posting an interesting square photo. For Vine, an entertaining 6-second video. For Twitter, it was writing an amusing bit of text of 140 characters or fewer. Pinterest? Pinning a compelling photo. You can likely derive the proof of work for other networks like Quora and Reddit and Twitch and so on. Successful social networks don’t pose trick questions at the start, it’s usually clear what they want from you.

Why does proof of work matter for a social network? If people want to maximize social capital, why not make that as easy as possible?
As with cryptocurrency, if it were so easy, it wouldn’t be worth anything. Value is tied to scarcity, and scarcity on social networks derives from proof of work. Status isn’t worth much if there’s no skill and effort required to mine it. It’s not that a social network that makes it easy for lots of users to perform well can’t be a useful one, but competition for relative status still motivates humans.

Когда социальная сеть приобретает много пользователей и в ней происходит первоначальное накопление социального капитала. Новым ребятам сложно накапливать его (большая конкуренция), поэтому происходит отток на новые сети, где “дикий Запад” и еще есть возможность получить этот социальный капитал. Чтобы этого не происходило надо давать шанс запромоутится новым ребятам.

Обычно новые социальные сети появляются, когда есть возможность сделать новую “статусную игру” с другим proof of work: другим способом набирать социальный капитал.

Пользователь хочет получить от социальной сети две штуки: социальный капитал (social capital) и полезность (utility). Иногда люди сначала приходят за utility (пример: Instagram, все началось с желания сделать фото лучше через фильтры), а потом начинают зарабатывать капитал. А бывает наоборот — ценность появляется позднее (пример: старый Foursquare).

Почему дети более активно вовлечены? Потому у взрослых есть возможность получить социальный капитал по другому (работа, семья) и у детей больше времени

Не всегда network effect это хорошо. Иногда слишком большой охват или присоединение определенной группы приводит к девальвации социального капитала:

A variant of this type of status devaluation cascade can be triggered when a particular group joins up. This is because the stability of a status lattice depends just as much on the composition of the network as its total size. A canonical example in tech was the youth migration out of Facebook when their parents signed on in force. Because of the incredible efficiency of News Feed distribution, Facebook became a de facto surveillance apparatus for the young: Mommy and Daddy are watching, as well as future universities and employers and dates who will time travel back and scour your profile someday.

Если социальная сеть хочет расти, она не должна искусственно ограничивать рост социального капитала. Пример Снапчата:

As with aggregate follower counts and likes, the Best Friends list was a mechanism for people to accumulate a very specific form of social capital. From a platform perspective, however, there’s a big problem with this feature: each user could only have one best friend. It put an artificial ceiling on the amount of social capital one could compete for and accumulate.
In a clever move to unbound social capital accumulation and to turn a zero-sum game into a positive sum game, broadening the number of users working hard or engaging, Snapchat deprecated the very popular Best Friends list and replaced it with streaks.

If you’ve never seen those numbers and emojis on the right of your Snapchat contacts list, no one loves you. Just kidding, it just means you’re old.
If you and a friend Snap back and forth for consecutive days, you build up a streak which is tracked in your friends list. Young people quickly threw their heart and souls into building and maintaining streaks with their friends. This was literally proof of work as proof of friendship, quantified and tracked.

Streaks, of course, have the wonderful quality of being unbounded. You can maintain as many streaks as you like. If you don’t think social capital has value, you’ve never seen, as I have, a young person sobbing over having to go on vacation without their phone, or to somewhere without cell or wifi access, only to see all their streaks broken. Some kids have resorted, when forced to go abroad on a vacation, to leaving their phone with a friend who helps to keep all the streaks alive, like some sort of social capital babysitter or surrogate.

Сервис должен позволять “хранить” и отображать социальный капитал.

As with cryptocurrency, it’s no use accumulating social capital if you can’t take ownership of it and store it safely. Almost all successful social networks are adept at providing both accumulation and storage mechanisms.
It may sound obvious now, but consider the many apps and services that failed to provide something like this and saw all their value leak to other social networks. Hipstamatic came before Instagram and was the first photo filter app of note that I used on mobile. But, unlike Instagram, it charged for its filters and had no profile pages, social network, or feed. I used Hipstamatic filters to modify my iPhone photos and then posted them to other social networks like Facebook. Hipstamatic provided utility but captured none of the social capital that came from the use of its filters.

A good example is the anonymous social network, like Whisper or Secret. The premise of such social networks was that anonymity would enable users to share information and opinions they would otherwise be hesitant to be associated with. But, as is often the case, that strength turned out to be a weakness, because users couldn’t really claim any of the social capital they’d created there. Many of the things written on these networks were so toxic that to claim ownership of them would be social capital negative in the aggregate.

Очень глубокая статья. Если вам интересны социальные сети и механизмы за ними — я очень рекомендую ее прочитать.