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Will Facebook become more like Instagram?

Without probably intending to, Facebook has been conducting a comparative experiment with its Facebook platform and its Instagram platform over the last several years.  Facebook has been rambling, open, connected, unpredictable and fraught with unforeseen and sometimes sinister consequences. Instagram has been comparatively private and personal, unsuited to forwarding and broad distribution. The more visual and less verbal Instagram has also been less problematic.


Mark Zuckerberg has blogged that a primary goal for 2018 is to clean up the fake news and unsavory content on Facebook and make sure that it is a fun and life-supporting platform. He is a man who tends to keep his promises and meet his goals, so he will probably do it. But observer Kevin Roose posits that the answer is right in front of him: make Facebook more like Instagram, by:

  • emphasizing visuals over word content
  • changing (limiting) how a share button can work
  • ban spite of what it would do to digital advertising (!?)
  • containing bad influences by learning from how they even infiltrate Instagram

Source: "What if a healthier Facebook is just...Instagram?" by Kevin Roose, New York Times, January 22, 2018.

Follow up

  • Do some research. What is the history of the business relationship between Facebook and Instagram? How are the business entities of Facebook and Instagram related? How does this affect their operations? 
  • What Facebook problems are addressed in the linked article? What else could go wrong?
  • Address and assess each of the suggestions that writer Roose makes to make Facebook more like Instagram.