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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 25 2023, @03:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the circle-of-life dept.

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a "two sided market," where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.

[...] Search Amazon for "cat beds" and the entire first screen is ads, including ads for products Amazon cloned from its own sellers, putting them out of business (third parties have to pay 45% in junk fees to Amazon, but Amazon doesn't charge itself these fees). All told, the first five screens of results for "cat bed" are 50% ads.

This is enshittification: surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they're locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they're locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 27 2023, @01:38PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 27 2023, @01:38PM (#1288902) Journal

    True, but looking at the adult offspring of the wealthy, they don't seem to be sitting around doing nothing in any greater proportion than the rest of us.

    There seems to be some disagreement [] about that.

    Playing golf and drinking martinis is not working. That's the way you do it, money for nothing, and chicks for free. (D. Trump theory of economic justice)

    And another effect that bears mentioning. We already have UBI in the form of pensions. And an interesting social phenomenon emerged - the idea that one could stop working became acceptable everywhere. Suddenly there was this thing called "retirement" which everyone could do.