Why do friend-making apps suck? And TikTok is getting into gaming

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Hi everyone! Announcement: apart from the weekly newsletter, I will write more infrequent long-form articles including:

  • discussions regarding the state of consumer social

  • founder interviews

  • app reviews

  • book reviews

and many other things that might interest you. I will link new articles in the newsletter, so if you’re subscribed to it, you’ll never miss them.

The first article is about friend-making apps and why most of them suck.

If studies are to be trusted, we are more lonely, friendless, and miserable than ever before. 71% of millennials and 79% of Gen Z report feeling lonely. 49% of Americans have fewer than three close friends, a nearly twofold increase from 1990. 12% have zero friends, four times as many as 30 years ago. Since friendships are an important predictor of not only mental and physical health but life outcomes in general, you’d think there would be more discussion of this problem and that the market would find a solution for it. The incredibly saturated dating app space has a product for every single possible demographic and gimmick: dating apps for specific races, age groups, sexual orientations, dietary habits, interest groups, voice-based dating apps, meme-based dating apps, and even virtual reality dating apps. Despite all this, there isn’t a single friend-making app that is nearly as popular as any of the main dating apps. Why is that?

If you want to read the rest of the article, click here https://www.neosocialization.com/article/why-do-friend-making-apps-suck

Now back to the usual weekly news.

Social Network

Big players

Meta is now looking to push news organizations towards short video, where it’s seeing the most growth in user engagement. But Meta’s long-term commitment to journalism is in doubt.

Reddit is hiring a product manager to work on a future NFT marketplace.

Twitter rolls out the ability for creators to host Super Follows-only Spaces. Think OnlyFans but for Twitter.

WhatsApp introduces commercial services. For a fee, the app will allow businesses to build a custom dashboard so they can chat with customers and offer customer services more easily. Yes, please! My previous internet provider offered customer support via Whatsapp. I simply messaged them like I would message anyone else and they would message me back whenever they could. No holding for 20 minutes while some awful elevator music with the sound quality of a 1920s radio is playing, only to be answered by someone in an extremely noisy call center. Customer support via your messaging app is the norm in China. Why can’t it be here?

Adam Mosseri Says He Wants Big Tech to Give Up Control. The head of Instagram has a vision for using Web3 to shift power from tech platforms to content creators—which he says will ultimately benefit both.

YouTube teases livestream shopping expansion with co-streams, live redirects.

TikTok is gearing up for games, including interactive minigames for TikTok LIVE. Here is why TikTok would want to get into gaming.

Snapchat Launches New Option to Display eBay Listings in Snaps

China

ByteDance’s Douyin Introduces Interest-Based Social Function. The function allows users to get to know others who are also watching the same short video on the platform. After the user matching is successful, the interface where the short video is played can become a chat window, and the short video can become a chatting background. Users can send emojis, words and other content through the chat bar, or even initiate a video chat.

YouTube-like video platform Bilibili updated its memorial function, offering more options for users to arrange their accounts in advance before they die. Users can opt for their profile to become a “memorial account” with all information preserved or delete the entirety of their digital footprint on the platform, including comments. Basically like a will for social media. Shouldn’t all large platforms have this?

Elon Musk praised WeChat as “really an excellent app” and labeled it “a good model” during the All-In Summit 2022 on Tuesday, as the Tesla owner discussed his stalled takeover of Twitter. “We don’t have anything like that,” Musk told the Summit, as he complimented the Tencent super app’s offering of services like Twitter, PayPal and more “all rolled into one.” Musk went on to say that “such an app would be really useful” in markets outside of China, speculating that it could be created by converting Twitter to something more all-encompassing or by starting a new app from scratch.

Tencent walks away from deal to buy Black Shark gaming phone brand as regulatory scrutiny of metaverse ramps up. Multiple trademark applications containing the word ‘yuan yuzhou’ – which translates as metaverse – have been rejected by Chinese authorities.

Newcomers

WeAre8 launches crowdfunder for its social media app, where users are paid to watch ads

Teens are flocking to new photo-sharing apps. Are they safe?

Chroma Studios, a Stockholm, Sweden-based audio entertainment app announced closing a seed funding round at €5.1 million ($5.5 million). There isn’t any info on what the app will do or look like, but it’s backed by Twitter and Pinterest co-founders.

Croatian startup Spiritus raised 400k EUR to preserve people’s memories on the blockchain.

Donald Trump is required to prioritize Truth Social, according to an SEC filing. He has to post there first before another platform, and he can’t publish the same content on a rival site for six hours. Trump is privately complaining that Google hasn’t approved his social media company’s Android app, though.

Drip aims to provide thrill of live commerce to NFTs, physical collectibles

CyberConnect raises $15M Series A to put data back in the hands of users. It’s a social graph “protocol,” the underlying rules that allow data to be shared between computers, for applications, and in web3’s case, without a centralized agent like Facebook. The end goal is that users can travel across web3 platforms with their followings and followers.

Voicy, a kind of GIPHY for voice memes, raises €1.2M.

Freshcut, an app for creators to post short, gaming-related videos and earn through tokens, raised $15 million in funding.

My Friends My Data Coalition, a new group formed by startups including photo-sharing app Dispo and short-form video app Clash, launched. It pledges to push large tech companies to adopt new standards allowing users to move their friends lists from one social app to another.

My Friends My Data Coalition, a new group formed by startups including photo-sharing app Dispo and short-form video app Clash, launched. It pledges to push large tech companies to adopt new standards allowing users to move their friends lists from one social app to another.

Metaverse

Big players

Qualcomm’s new AR glasses are thinner and wireless. The biggest blocker for AR/VR’s success is that the glasses are too big and look dorky, so this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Apple Shows AR/VR Headset to Board in Sign of Progress on Key Project.

Techcrunch read Meta’s metaverse manifesto so you don’t have to.

Newcomers

The US Military Is Building Its Own Metaverse.

Dating

Dating apps are the most searched for apps in 2022!

Survey about how people use dating apps and how they swipe. Surprisingly, gym and partying pictures are pretty unpopular!

Big players

Facebook Dating was set to take over the market – instead it was dead in the water. TL;DR: It’s a cesspool of scams with 0 user verification and basically has the same features as Tinder 10 years ago.

Hinge’s latest feature aims to help users spark conversations about self-care.

Newcomers

TikTok-style dating app aims to compete with Tinder, Bumble

A dating app for astrologers.

Israeli AI chat bot Algo seeks to matchmake Jews worldwide

For founders

Since many of my readers are not only interested in consumer social startups but are founders of social consumer startups themselves, I thought of creating a new category where I’ll occasionaly post content related to running a consumer social startup that you guys might find useful.

a16z’s Future just released an in-depth guide on how to start a college ambassador program for consumer startups.

Key phrases

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