• MudMan
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      2910 months ago

      Yeah, I don’t know where you’re from, but over here if you don’t have a Whatsapp account in working order you can’t… do things.

      I hired a company to wire my house and they won’t communicate over anything else. I am in maybe five friends and family groups where every social event in my life is put together. I recently noticed a family member and I didn’t have each other’s numbers anymore, since we only ever communicate over Whatsapp. At work events people will show you a QR code for Facebook or Whatsapp and expect to receive the same back.

      I get that a lot of people, especially in the US, don’t notice, but Meta won this fight like a decade ago. I don’t like it, but that ship sailed as far away as Amazon dominating online shopping.

      • Azure
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        1310 months ago

        I have had independent contractors offer it as an option, but most still have a phone number or have too many customers who aren’t tech savvy enough to use something like that. There’s really no way a reputable business in my area would survive that way.

        • MudMan
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          510 months ago

          I don’t know what your area is, but everybody here is tech savvy enough to use WhatsApp. It’s assumed to be just… part of how phones work. Both my elderly parents use it. My mom is on multiple chatgroups I had nothing to do with setting up. She only reaches out to me for help if she thinks something is spam or phishing. I can’t stress this enough: nobody texts. Text messaging happens over WhatsApp unless you’re receiving TFA notifications or automated messages from companies or the government, kinda like email.

          As for the business, I’m sure if I had requested a phone call they would have called me, but it was a telecom firm and it wasn’t really a big conversation. Guy just went “here’s my WhatsApp, we’ll ping you there” and we understood it to be the way it was gonna go. I’ve had delivery drivers reach out to me over it when they had my number on hand, unprompted.

          • Retronautickz
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            1210 months ago

            Whatsapp is so big here that it’s not just that everyone uses it, you are practically require, forced, to use Whatsapp.

            I hate whatsapp, but they require it at the university if I want to be informed. Doctor appointments are also. via whatsapp.

            • MudMan
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              510 months ago

              Hah. During the pandemic the government here would reach out to you for vaccine appointments over Facebook and WhatsApp. I personally know at least a couple of people who dabbled in antivax stuff and wouldn’t pick up the phone but still got their shots after the government reached out that way.

              Not that Meta has anything to do with that, but it was funny to me to see the government embrace the vectors of misinformation to shame people into not being idiots.

          • Azure
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            410 months ago

            I live near a major city, most people haven’t had to learn anything like that over their existence: we have good cell phone reception over wifi too, perhaps that is it.

            Tech is just not reliable enough for me to have any experience working with anyone who I would take seriously or who would work with anyone like that. I thought you should know your experience isn’t the norm, especially in any place I have been in the USA.

            Almost anyone who approached with Whatapp is seen as poor, fly-by-night, and likely a grift here. “Why not use your phone number if you are trustworthy?” Would be the opinion here.

            • MudMan
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              810 months ago

              No, wait, this isn’t a “my area” as “my city” or whatever.

              I mean it works like this country-wide here.

              Nobody in the country can operate without WhatsApp. That’s not a thing. I am not in the US and I’m telling you here WhatsApp is just how sending text messages works. For everybody. Apple or Android.

              • Azure
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                010 months ago

                I see. I did assume you were from a place that would have had to adjusted to that due to recent infrastructure.

                The US has had telephones since 1800. The culture is not as new.

                • @floofloof@lemmy.ca
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                  10 months ago

                  The dominance of WhatsApp in some countries is not because telephones are new to them. I hope this was a joke and not a real American view of how other countries are.

      • @Zetaphor@zemmy.cc
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        1310 months ago

        Most people from the US think of the it as the default :/

        Currently living in Argentina, if you want to make an appointment with the doctor, plumber, or barber you use Whatsapp. Want to order a pizza without using one of the gig economy ordering apps? You use Whatsapp. Communicating with anyone and everything in this region involves having a Whatsapp account.

        • @noodlejetski@beehaw.org
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          1210 months ago

          because it gained popularity back when mobile plans didn’t include free SMS, back in the feature phone era.

          • @abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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            1110 months ago

            This. The countries where Meta only has “a lot” of marketshare are the ones that were early to make SMS available for free to everyone.

            In countries where they were late to that, Meta controls the market.

        • MudMan
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          1010 months ago

          Meta won. They won social media. Worldwide they’re absolutely huge. Entire countries never got the “Facebook is for old people” memo, and on many Android territories the default messaging app is effectively WhatsApp. And of course there’s Instagram. That one’s worldwide.

          The only thing I’ve seen threaten Meta’s dominance in this space recently is TikTok. Twitter is a footnote, mostly a residual self-sustaining place for politicians and journalists to talk to each other.

      • @liminis@beehaw.org
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        1110 months ago

        Don’t know where you live, but my experience of NL is that everyone and their dog did things via WhatsApp. Even government services, would absolutely struggle to abandon all things Meta-related entirely while living there.

        • MudMan
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          410 months ago

          Same. I never got rid of my Facebook account, though. I still have multiple work relations that will reach out to me that way, and my work phone is the one I have logged in to it. I keep it off my home browsers and personal phone.

          But you can’t NOT have WhatsApp. It’s just not an option. If people thought it was hard to get Americans to stop using Twitter, this is an order of magnitude bigger.

          • Chetzemoka
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            310 months ago

            Yeah, I’m in the “have to have WhatsApp” camp because it’s the only way I can stay in touch with a bunch of international friends now that I don’t have a Facebook account anymore.

            There are alternatives, but I don’t press about it because at least Meta doesn’t monetize WhatsApp…for now

          • @HughJanus
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            010 months ago

            If someone sends me a FB message I’ll usually wait a week or so and then tell them to text/email me for faster response.

            Some people, though, already have my phone and email but will send me IG messages, even though I never reply to a single one and ask them (elsewhere) to stop messaging me on there. Several years later they still send me messages.

      • @floofloof@lemmy.ca
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        110 months ago

        It’s like that in some European countries but in the USA and Canada WhatsApp has far less presence. I understand the pressure though: whenever my family and friends in Europe want to communicate they always suggest WhatsApp.

    • @Zetaphor@zemmy.cc
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      1610 months ago

      They’re the reason for Trump being elected

      Trump was elected because the Electoral College voted for him. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, AKA the one you participated in. The American populace don’t decide the president. Your vote is not you deciding who wins, it’s you expressing your opinion in the hopes that the electors your state party officials hand picked will actually listen to the interests of their constituents.

    • @PelicanPersuader@beehaw.org
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      910 months ago

      My friends refuse to use anything else for our group chats so I’m stuck with it if I want to keep in touch. I don’t use it much outside of that. 🤷

      • The Bard in Green
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        1510 months ago

        I was in this boat.

        Then I got a job where I had to work with Meta and got an inside look at their company and culture.

        I just couldn’t anymore. Yes, my social life has suffered. But it’s because we can’t draw these kinds of lines that we’re stuck with these fucks. And they are bigger fucks than you know.

        • MudMan
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          310 months ago

          FWIW, I’ve done business with Meta and seen their internal culture, or at least a peek at the corner of it I interact with and at the other small corners where people I know ended up working.

          I wouldn’t work there if I could help it, but the issues I saw are very much in line with other tech companies I know, big and small.

          Meta isn’t special, they just were one of those at the right place at the right time and they grew to be bigger than all of the other ones. Like all other tech corpos I know, they are made up of a mix of well intentioned and misguided people mostly struggling to navigate a self-sabotaging, entirely too large to manage corporate culture.

          Meta isn’t the death star. None of these tech firms are. Capitalism doesn’t need your activism to be capitalism.

          • The Bard in Green
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            410 months ago

            Some things.

            #1:

            When you go to work with them, even as an employee of a subcontractor, they ask for your Facebook profile. This has to be your REAL Facebook profile, not a fake one. They will know and it will cause delays. They have AIs checking this so sometimes there’s not much human beings can do. I’ve seen people try to make fake accounts for this that get flagged for being fraudulent and locked and then you can’t do your work and things get slowed waaaaaay down.

            Reason being, their work infrastructure is Facebook… and you use your own Facebook for this. Instead of Slack or Teams, they use… Facebook chat. Each of your projects has it’s own Facebook group, with it’s meetings scheduled on Facebook calendar.

            I’m sure most people are like “That’s creepy, fuck that!” Just thinking about their employer not only having their Facebook profile but actually sort of being in control of it.

            But an affect of it you probably don’t think of right away is… there’s no separation of your personal life and work life… for you. That is, when you look at Facebook to check messages from friends, you also get a whole shit ton of work notifications. When you check invites to see if you’ve been invited to parties or social events, you ALSO see all your meeting invites and project invites… and YES your boss and coworkers can see that you saw their shit.

            #2:

            They have a management culture of shaming and bullying.

            Of course, Meta is a HUGE organization. One of the projects I worked on involved a recently acquired startup who was creating Metaverse content and they were fine, but their project manager was anxious about the pressure her new managers were putting on her. I can’t imagine she lasted long.

            My direct contact was also great. BUT she was also always stressed out and talked quite candidly about “pressure”.

            However, I also had direct contact with a number of internal project managers who habitually used such management techniques as

            • Belittling your work / results (“I expect better than this”) for perfectly reasonable work and progress.

            • Making threats (“There are LOTS of other people that would like to do this work”).

            • Calling blockers “excuses”.

            I’ve worked with all kinds of different organizations, and I’ve seen plenty of toxic bullshit. I won’t say this was the worst ever, but it was a special blend of toxic professional culture. Where everyone’s so nice to you until they’re not and then they’re back to being nice and you know it’s fake nice. Everyone is all smiles… like some fucking Disneyland employees.

            #3:

            I got to watch Mark Zuckerberg talk about how “important” privacy is to them at Facebook. It’s part of their culture. He unironically said “It’s in our DNA.” It was so cringey. That was a mandatory meeting.

            Now, they DO have policies that like… you can’t go look at people’s private information, read their DMs, etc. And they have fairly draconian policies for employees that violate them. BUT when this happened last year I was not remotely shocked. I had access to those tools, they’re right there and I’m sure employees abuse them all the time in ways that aren’t flagged. There are two things that keep employees from doing that:

            1. It’s just wrong! (It really is… this worked on me and probably most people that work there, at least most of the time).

            2. If you get caught it will be VERY bad for you.

            BUT that’s it. So if you do it and don’t get caught…

            But that’s part of it. When you work at Meta, you don’t know what your coworkers might have looked at and then not told you. You don’t know what their AI sees and flags and maybe brings to HR (or not). They don’t disclose that to you. You don’t know what upper management gives themselves permission to look at (or not). When I went to work there I went through my DMs and was like… “Oh shit, here’s this time I was drunk. Oh, and here’s this time I had a VERY personal conversation with a close friend about their sexual fetishes…” Like… it was really uncomfortable. They tell you “We don’t look at your personal information” and I think that’s MOSTLY true. But they do have bots look through it for various reasons and, like I said, if you come to the attention of upper management, you don’t know what they give themselves permission to see or not. They’ll just corporate speak at you about ethics in the phony corporate way.


            There’s more specific details I’m not going to share. But yeah, after that little professional nightmare I was just done. I posted

            “Hey friends! I’ve been doing some work for Facebook and I’m DONE using Facebook. If you want to get in touch with me, please text me. Please invite me to stuff.” I didn’t delete my account and I sometimes log in and check my DMs (which I still am getting X years later) and respond to each one with “I did some work for Facebook, it really creeped me out and now I don’t use it. Please text me.”

            And yes, not a single person I’ve related this to has stopped using it. This is why we’re doomed.

            • 𝕊𝕚𝕤𝕪𝕡𝕙𝕖𝕒𝕟
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              310 months ago

              First, thank you for the detailed response.

              Second, I think you finally convinced me to delete my FB. I will link to this comment wherever possible to show people what a terrible company Meta is.

  • @dark_stang@beehaw.org
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    11410 months ago

    Every time a big company gets into an open source space, they try to take it over. Hopefully everybody in the fediverse recognizes that.

    • Gaywallet (they/it)
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      10 months ago

      It kind of doesn’t matter whether everyone in the fediverse recognizes it or not. People around here often forget that they are in the vast minority when it comes to tech literacy in the world. Most people are not interested in the experience that lemmy currently offers, because it’s far too complicated and people asking simple questions are often met with scoff and scorn, because the question has been asked before and they should have just searched for an answer or because it’s so simple, obviously it’s just <insert complicated technical explanation here>.

      The fact that none of this is approachable to a tech naive person is precisely why microsoft killed OSS in the late 90s, why google killed XMPP, and why it’s extremely likely a place like meta or another company might succeed in effectively killing off a platform like activitypub (altho I don’t think it’ll kill it entirely, I do suspect that they will slowly kill it by bleeding users over to their platforms). You see, what these large brands have is recognition - people who are not tech literate still know what google is, what facebook is (they may not know they’ve rebranded to meta), and what microsoft is. These companies have the resources to throw actual designers at this space and provide a front end interface that is friendly to just about anyone. Combine good UX design with a company that people recognize and a huge platform from which to advertise to users (imagine logging into facebook and being presented with all the cool new things you can do on the fediverse) and you’ll get normal people trickling into the platform.

      Here’s where things succeed - these platforms will start as open, and so all the normal people will now be able to talk with their tech friends who are also in the fediverse, and slowly these platforms will become monoliths. They’ll start curating the experience more as user reports roll in, and as they tighten the reigns. Over time you’ll find that you can’t reach these users unless you’re also on their platform, and your non-tech literate friends will ask you to migrate to their platform so you can continue to interact through the same channels that they’ve been interacting with you. While you may be unwilling to migrate, some people will be, and slowly but surely the platforms will dominate the space. They might be sunset eventually as a way to kill off the protocol, or they might just simply turn into their own walled garden.

      The only way forward I can see which is resistant to attacks of capital of this nature are when an open source protocol actually starts to center design during the development of the platform. You can’t just tack a user design expert onto a platform like Lemmy and ask them to make things make sense, because federation itself needs a whole new set of terminology, designed by people who understand how non-tech literate people think, and a whole new backend to support a front end that’s truly user friendly. But user design is not friendly to github and most developers aren’t designers, so this isn’t something I see being accomplished anytime soon. The best that can happen right now is for better platforms to be designed for front-end and UX designers (something akin to github but useful to designers), to work on implementing these kinds of people from the beginning, and for open source projects to start reaching out more to designers, to start spending donated money on designers, and to center design as an important principle to OSS protocols.

      • @SkyNTP
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        10 months ago

        A discussion around tech is a distraction, and it’s a fallacy to think people are too illiterate to understand the problem. The problem is one of incentives, politics, and economic policies. The problem is that people have forgotten that a free market only serves the interests of paying customers–and while that’s fine for the paying customers, users of online platforms are not paying customers. They are slaves to a system that will treat them like dirt because they become addicted/dependant to it.

        It’s going to take a cultural revolution for people to learn this, not so different than it took generations to learn about the dangers of mercury/asbestos/cigarettes/climate change/plastic pollution. You are right that the change doesn’t happen with discussions around FOSS/fediverse/UX. It starts with a realization of the dangers of the business models of big tech.

      • @abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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        710 months ago

        There’s nothing wrong with Lemmy’s user interface design.

        It has bugs, for sure, but if you just go to an instance, sign up, and browser the fediverse within that instance it’s a great experience.

        • Gaywallet (they/it)
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          1210 months ago

          You may find nothing wrong with the user interface, but I’m not you and I see plenty wrong with it. I’m not the only one with this opinion, as evidenced by a number of github bug requests, a near constant stream of questions in support communities on these websites, all of the votes my comment is receiving, and well, just asking like 10 random people what they think. I would encourage you to try to put yourself in other people’s shoes - if you’re struggling with that, simply ask them how they feel and listen to what they have to say.

          • @abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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            10 months ago

            Oh it’s absolutely full of UX bugs, for sure. It took me a week to sign up, because of a user interface bug. But those are all clearly just bugs, they’re not a design problem.

            Lemmy needs a lot of work, but it’s an excellent foundation, at least from a design perspective.

            • @bric@lemm.ee
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              110 months ago

              From a design perspective it still has a lot of friction on signups though, we’re asking users to make a server choice before they even remotely understand what that entails. That simple decision made me spend a week understanding the fediverse before settling on Lemm.ee, but the average user won’t do that, they’ll get confused and then leave.

              From a more traditional UX standpoint the general feed is also fairly bad, reddit has built in feeds for the things people care the most about (trending and subscribed) that pop up by default when opening the app or website, and gives the advanced controls off to the side. Lemmy on the other hand defaults to a feed that shows basically nothing, and only gives the advanced controls to fix it. For a new user that isn’t tech savvy, the fact that the feed defaults to local is enough to make Lemmy seem completely dead if they happened to join a small instance.

              These aren’t major issues for us, but they are major issues for widespread adoption. It needs to be so easy that you can use it accidentally, and the UX isn’t there yet. I’m sure we can fix issues with the feed and the app, but I do worry that the server choice problem isn’t going to get a good solution

        • alyaza [they/she]M
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          810 months ago

          There’s nothing wrong with Lemmy’s user interface design.

          as a not-tech-savvy (relative to other users here, anyways) person: i have absolutely no idea how you can say this with confidence. Lemmy’s UI and UX is probably still on the worse end of FOSS projects i’ve used and i’ve had a year and a half to get used to it. i still have to double back to find certain settings that i use literally every day in moderating the site! i hang with it because i know the developers are slammed, but this would not fly with even most of my friends, much less my mom or someone who has extremely low computer literacy and mostly learns by repetition.

        • @Spzi@lemmy.click
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          410 months ago

          There’s nothing wrong with Lemmy’s user interface design.

          The first step is a UX disaster: https://join-lemmy.org/

          Only 2 clicks / pages down the road you can start registering an account, and you don’t see what the experience might be before that. Instead, you’re being presented tech talk about servers.

          You might argue it’s not actually lemmy but just the landing page. I argue, it’s so good at being a scarecrow, most people visiting lemmy haven’t seen anything else except for that page.


          The inner lemmy is pretty fine, I agree. Some parts are still confusing. For example, most people will not figure out they can search for content from within a specific community by carefully configuring the drop downs in the general search form. Most will look for the search directly attached to the community.

    • Dee
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      3310 months ago

      Looks at article.

      Yeah, I think they might realize it lol

      Happy to see it though, I’ve been saying they should be defederated right out of the gate ever since I first saw these rumors.

    • MudMan
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      810 months ago

      So hold on, is this an open source space, a protocol or “like email”? Which of the poor analogies people use to convey excitiement about AcitivityPub are supposed to apply here?

      Because, you know, Google got into the Linux space, into email and into open source software and it seems those survived the experience.

      • @dark_stang@beehaw.org
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        1310 months ago

        Google is actually a great parallel here, because of what they did to XMPP (the federated chat protocol). They implemented it for hangouts/gchat. It was a good on-ramp that allowed people to talk across platforms. Then Google created a bunch of features that only worked internally and not with XMPP. Then they removed XMPP.

        • @abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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          10 months ago

          XMPP didn’t work on mobile. You had to have the app running to receive messages, and the battery wasn’t large enough to keep the CPU powered up all day.

      • jalda
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        1310 months ago

        [Google got] into open source software and it seems those survived the experience

        Not really. Google is responsible for the open source browser Chromium, which is the base for Google Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, etc. They dominate the browser market, and they use their position to implement features outside the web standard. Their competitors (mainly Firefox) are not able to implement the non-standard features, driving them out of the market. Classic Embrace-Extend-Extinguish.

        Google got into the Linux space

        Technically, both Android and Chromebok are Linux-based. But Google has done everything possible so that they aren’t part of the “Linux space”, to the point that Android uses a fork of version 3.x of the Linux kernel (regular Linux is now at version 6.x).

        • @abhibeckert@beehaw.org
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          10 months ago

          Google is responsible for the open source browser Chromium

          Pretty sure that was Apple, not Google. Google joined the WebKit party later. By the time Google forked WebKit the other rendering engines (used by the FireFox and old versions of IE) were pretty much gone.

          Also, Now that Google has forked WebKit, we’re back to