8 min read · Apr 26th · Increasingly, what we’re after on social media is not narrative or personality but moments of audiovisual eloquence.
Robin James describes this phenomenon as “vibe-capitalism.” If tightly associated with a product or company, a vibe can become a kind of free-floating commercial, including or alienating audiences based on their tastes. Think of the association of healthy-yet-intoxicating Californian bohemianism with the clothing brand Reformation or of turbocharged techno-masculinity with Tesla cars.
Vibes were made for the Internet not just because they’re audiovisual but because, like all memes, they are participatory. Anyone can assemble her own version.
5 min read · Sep 24th · One TikTok created a mystery for some scientific surveys.
A member of the Stanford Behavioral Laboratory posted on a Prolific forum, “We have noticed a huge leap in the number of participants on the platform in the US Pool, from 40k to 80k. Which is great, however, now a lot of our studies have a gender skew where maybe 85% of participants are women. Plus the age has been averaging around 21.”
The policy also notes this part of the data collection is for enabling “special video effects, for content moderation, for demographic classification, for content and ad recommendations, and for other non-personally-identifying operations
20+ min read · May 17th · The Quiet Chinese Quindecacorn Taking Over America’s Gen Z Shoppers
Shein (pronounced She In) is the fastest-growing ecommerce company in the world. It reportedly did almost $10 billion in revenue in 2020, and has grown over 100% for each of the past eight years.
Selling fast-fashion through an app allows Shein to lean into its advantages to compete on three vectors it’s uniquely suited to win: Price: “affordability” Selection: “choice” Retention: “addictiveness”