Best Of The Web
“Instagram is one of tech’s great success stories. The network has seen incredible growth over the past couple of years to become a platform with 1 billion users. So this week, when founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced they were leaving the company, it came as a shock to many, even Facebook itself — Instagram’s parent company was caught flat-footed without a prepared statement until the next day.
But perhaps the news shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise. Earlier this month, The Verge reported that Instagram was considering adding a “regram” feature, akin to a retweet, where users could easily share and spread posts they like. But Instagram’s founders have always been opposed to this idea, and for good reason: Such a feature would lend itself to the sort of rapid virality that is no doubt one of the worst parts of Twitter.
In other words, in their relentless quest for more engagement, Mark Zuckerberg and Co. have been well on the way to ruining Instagram for quite some time. And with the founders out of the way, it’s very likely the Instagram that users know and love will soon cease to exist entirely.
Details about Systrom and Krieger’s exit have started to leak out: It was apparently becoming harder for Instagram to operate as an independent entity within Facebook. But the core of the tension seems to be that the culture of the app was at odds with Facebook’s economic needs.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."
"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"
"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."
"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."
"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."
"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."
"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."
"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."
"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."
"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."
"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."
"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."