Facebook is set to launch a new service this fall codenamed
‘Catalina’, which will serve as a larger version of their current Facebook
Portal. Portal is like an iPad that primarily serves for making video calls and
listening to music.
Catalina will essentially be a bigger version of Portal. It
will connect with your television, enabling video calls on a massive scale. The
device will come with a remote and will steam to other boxes within the
household much like Apple TV.
Facebook has approached some of the big names in tech and
entertainment – Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO – to discuss the prospect
of having their services streamed across Catalina. Imagine video chatting with
your friends while you are all watching the same movie.
FB is apparently not looking to create content,
they seem happy to leave it to others in hopes that major streaming services
sign on. One notable exception is
Google’s YouTube, which has apparently not been asked to join the party. More specifics are expected as we approach this
fall’s release date
One of the biggest problems with social media is users posting unrealistic descriptions of their lives. People tend to post representations of the positive side of their lives rather than showing the negatives. This problem often leads to socially toxic interactions; it also has very negative psychological effects. When we get an unrealistically positive view of the lives of other people, it can be hard to feel good about ourselves and the lives we have. TikTok has provided ways to combat this problem, helping them to compete with the Facebook owned service Instagram.
TikTok, a video app launched in 2017, has certain
features to counter this problem. Certain Instagram users called
“influencers” heavily edit the photos they post in order to create unrealistically
positive descriptions of their lives. Many social media users are getting sick
of this tendency. In contrast, TikTok, a Chinese owned social media service,
has a page that a user can follow that filters out unrealistic images and shows
posts that reflect ordinary lives as they actually are. TikTok has a page
called the “For You Page” which shows images of un-glorified middle-class
One TikTok user, who is often referred to as
“the Queen of TikTok” in comments, has a very popular profile where
she shares posts about her ordinary life which often show up on the “For
You Page.” In her posts she often shows herself in her MacDonald’s
employee uniform while on break. Her profile is known for being authentic and
funny. Despite the alternatives to the status quo, TikTok still has
“influencer” profiles which show dishonest life descriptions.
TikTok is big competition to Facebook. TikTok is multilingual and has a huge user base in India. It remains to be seen how far TikTok can take its challenge against Facebook’s dominance in the social media industry.