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Facebook has launched a pair of smart glasses with popular brand Ray-Ban. The glasses, which look like a normal pair of shades but contain a couple of cameras to take photographs and videos, have a clear appeal. But the image of a world in which millions of people walk around with cameras on their faces is a profoundly dystopian one, Navneet Alang writes.

I couldn’t tell you when it happened exactly. But some time in the past decade or so, I went from being the sort of child of the 1990s who’d watch TV to unwind to someone who’d choose YouTube instead. Cooking shows, interviews, sports highlights — whatever pops up is now how I veg out.

Every day, more than one billion users watch more than one billion hours of content on YouTube. This is how huge digital platforms work: because they are so enormous in scale, they end up becoming the thing to which many of us default.

That’s not to say they are immune to challenge, however. This week, it was revealed that the short-form video app TikTok is gaining on YouTube. In the U.S. and U.K., users are spending more time on TikTok watching lip syncing, skits and rants there than on Google’s video site, which is a remarkable shift for an app so comparatively new.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: September 17th, 2021



  1. ” Size is a problem because of what are called network effects. As more and more users pile on to a platform, the popularity itself becomes an entrenching factor ” How did TikTok itself become large if a key factor is being large?
  2. ” Like all technology, it lends itself to particular things. As but one example, the small frame of the smartphone camera has appeared to encourage a particular focus on the body and commodification. ” Have a discussion about what this statement means, and what impact, if any, it has on how apps are designed.

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