A Chinese version of… everything
For countries like China, well it seems it has been set up as a policy. But on their end, instead of only blocking those popular services, they launch their version. So for any great online platform out there, you can find the Chinese version:
– in the search engine field, when most regular internet user would refer to Google, Chinese would be molded to use Baidu.
– while we tweet a lot, Chinese would use Sina Weibo for micro-blogging.
– while we are busy updating statuses on Facebook, the chances are that a considerable portion of the Chinese online population would be hanging on Renren.
– while Youtube still reigns on the video platform, it won’t surprise me that there soon will be a Chinese version.
I won’t try to argue against (or for) the reasons behind those approaches. However, one thing’s for sure: there will always be another popular platform rising after the death (or the obsolescence) of today’s popular ones. It has already happened often:
– when Google outpaced Yahoo as the most popular search engine platform,
– when Facebook became the place to hang on, to the disadvantage of MySpace.
Indeed, this is common in the internet technology space. And it’s even happening now.
Instagram? Or, maybe, Pinterest?
Instagr.am has quickly become the preferred photo-sharing service for mobile users (at least for those using Apple iOS and Android phones and tablets). Once again, Yahoo (who owns Flickr) missed the turning point of the mobile trend, thereby “leaving” most potential Flickr users to Instagr.am (who, BTW, was quickly bought by Facebook for a massive $1 billion). Indeed, mobile is taking over a significant portion of the internet usage.
If we consider another popular platform on the internet, it’s Pinterest: I’m sure you’ve seen it popping in your “internet timeline: people pin to a board, share photos. Again, we go back to that same media: photo.
In fact, whether it is with Pinterest or with Instagr.am, photos are playing a significant role in their success. On the other hand, people are also telling stories with pictures. Every internet user has a digital camera or a smartphone that come with a digital camera. Moreover, as part of an internet that has become social, most of those photos will be shared online.
At first, people will take photos of their families and pets, but once riot happen, or other “interesting stories” unfold, chances are there will be a lot of citizen journalists that will capture the moment with their camera and upload it on popular platforms – be it Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or whatever …
What do you think? Which one will be the next blocked platform?
We know that there have already been attempts to block access to Facebook, Twitter and Youtube during recent events (at the Arab spring, or n China), so the question I raised on the title of this article: which online platform will be the next one to be threatened by censorship according to you? Come on, let’s play the game and try to “predict” it… Bets are on.
Answer in the comment section.