I think that Spotify is much more satisfying than Facebook. Here is why:
1. The revenue model. Spotify has a free version that includes ads and a subscription version without ads. I have always hated the advertising model on the Internet. I much prefer the subscription model, but the subscription should give you access to a ton of stuff, not just one newspaper’s content or one record label’s music. Spotify gives me almost everything I would ever search for in music, and I am happy to pay the monthly fee to support that, to get rid of ads, and to be allowed to download music so I can use it on road trips.
2. Better sorting. On Spotify, I use playlists, so that I know what I am getting. If Spotify were like Facebook, it would send me Israeli dance music when I’m in the mood for 60’s rock music.
3. Better filtering. If I’m interested in a friend’s travel photos, but she puts up ten posts about why she hates Trump for every post on travel, I get stuck wading through all the Trump posts. Spotify doesn’t make me worry about having to filter out lots of crud.
4. Better recommendations. Spotify’s recommendation methods include: “discover weekly,” a set of songs that have some similarity to what I listen to, and these are often good; playlists that are similar to mine, and some of these are excellent; playlists of other users, including one friend of mine who has some ones that I really, really like.
Facebook took of in part because it satisfied a desire for people to engage with their real identities, which allows you to do things that you cannot do on the anonymous Internet. But that is not such an advantage when you have smart phones to establish identity. Does anyone think that we’ll be using the “log in with Facebook” feature when we have smart phones with facial recognition?
I think that Facebook should try to become the Spotify of social media and provide users with capabilities that they would be willing to pay a subscription fee to have. If not Facebook, then I hope other companies try it.