From Instagram to Youtube, creating out of nothing an economic feedback loop is the dream of every social media platform.
The core promise is making thousands of dollars a month on the value of your stream of consciousness, which in turn will attract more brands and money to the platform. Of course, this has been efficiently rebranded as "content creation" and even possibly Andy Warhol's legacy to the XXI century. But in reality, we know it's just about selling the can of soups, not the art.
Inevitably, there's still the hope of a way up. The hope that real value could be created by sharing knowledge, extending education opportunities across the internet, or inspiring real artists. That social media platform will allow our societies to be better.
And as often, for better or worse, China is a fantastic laboratory of this future. And the following story is a cautionary tale for the West:
The TL;DR is that after the Chinese government heavy-handedly cracked down on private tutoring (a way to help level the educational playfield by preventing rich families to game the system) a horde of educated Chinese had to find a new jobs. Many just switched to selling stuff on TikTok.
But take 10 min to read the full story, it's a fantastic perspective on how these platforms have embedded themselves in our real lives.