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Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian says tech has hit ‘peak social’



Alexis Ohanian at IGNITION
Ohanian spoke to Business Insider’s Alyson Shontell at

Jin S. Lee/Business

  • Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian said at Business
    Insider’s IGNITION conference we’ve hit “peak social” — and
    that’s bad news for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Ohanian predicted that users will move away from the
    big social networks towards new, more community-focused
  • He named Telegram and Discord as the two main players
    in this space at the moment.

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian has got bad news for Facebook,
Twitter, and other social networks.

Speaking at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference on Monday,
Ohanian said he believes that the tech industry has hit “peak
social,” and that users will migrate away from social networks.

Business Insider’s US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell asked
whether platforms like Reddit and Facebook, which together have
billions of users, are now facing crisis. “Are the days of these
big companies done?” asked Shontell.

“I really believe that we’ve hit… peak social, where the
platforms that are one too many, where we follow individuals,
have really in a lot of ways run their course, and we’ve reached
the ceiling,” he replied.

When asked whether he was referring to Twitter, Ohanian said:
“All of them. Social media as we know it, Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram, all these.”

Read more:

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Ohanian later took a swipe at professional networking site
LinkedIn. “LinkedIn is not a home, Linkedin is just sort of a box
that you check,” he said.

Some of the platforms he namechecked are still growing rapidly.
Facebook’s monthly users were up
10% to nearly 2.3 billion
in Q3, while Instagram recently hit 1 billion
. Twitter’s monthly users are
, however.

Ohanian: Social media users crave community

Instead of social networks, Ohanian said people are increasingly
wanting to belong to a smaller community of like-minded
individuals with shared interests.

“What people seem to be clamouring for more and more now is
community, and so whether that goes to private group chats — like
your WhatsApp group, your Signal group — or new platforms that
have emerged,” he said.

He believes that big social media sites are seeing a backlash
because people now feel like their voices are being drowned out.

“We’re seeing this as a response to the fact that so much of
social engagement is not about a sense of community, it’s about a
sense of playing to your tribe, your following. And if you don’t
have a following, you don’t really have a voice,” he said.

Ohanian added that Reddit was “ahead of the game” in creating
smaller communities online, but added that it is still too
ubiquitous. He predicted that new platforms will spring up to
cater to particular interest groups, such as a home for fans of
“#Girlboss” author Sophia Amoruso.

“I think we’re gonna see this vulcanisation where more of these
communities will start to go back and move to everything, from
even Facebook groups or subreddits, to entirely new platforms
that are getting built,” he said.

Ohanian said at the moment Telegram and Discord are the two
biggest examples of these new, more tailored platforms. Telegram
is an encrypted messaging app, and Discord is a chat app aimed at

You can watch Alexis Ohanian talk about hitting “peak
social” at IGNITION here:

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