Monday, November 05, 2018

Apple’s Social Network | Stratechery

From a wide-ranging Apple reality check
"“Engaged” is an interesting choice of words, as engagement is an objective normally associated with social networks like Facebook. The reasoning is obvious: the more engaged users are, the more they use a social network, which means the more ads they can be shown. Social networks accomplish this by aggregating content from suppliers as well as users themselves, and continually tweaking algorithms in an attempt to keep you swiping and tapping, and coming back to swipe and tap some more.

This is a world that has always been foreign to Apple: its past attempts at facilitating social interaction on its platforms are memorable only as the butt of jokes (iTunes Ping anyone?). This isn’t a surprise: Apple’s culture and approach to products is antithetical to the culture and approach necessary to create and grow a traditional social network. Apple wants total control and to release as perfect a product it can; a social network requires an iterative approach that is designed to deal with constant variability and edge cases.

This, though, is why Today at Apple is compelling, particular Ahrendts’ reference to bringing people together in a “real social way” — and she could not have emphasized the word “real” more strongly. Apple is in effect trying to build a social network in the real world, facilitated and controlled by Apple, and betting that customers will continue to pay to gain access."
Apple’s Social Network | Stratechery

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