In an interview in today’s Guardian Jared Grusd, the 40-year-old new chief executive of Huffington Post, who arrived from Spotify four months ago, argues that companies like his are moving into a “post-social” era. He says that
“Companies like Facebook and Snapchat are saying: ‘We have already attracted one billion people in the world to our platform. Rather than refer them back to your site, we actually want to keep them’,” says Grusd, flanked by Huffington and 27-year-old operations supremo Koda Wang after announcing the next stage of its global expansion plan in Madrid. “So post-social is, in many respects, coming full circle to where we began in the old days when people would go to AOL and Yahoo and you would just consume all your content on their portals.”
Ah, yes, the internet age is over: welcome to the new television. Giles Tremlett, the Guardian writer conducting the interview, himself points out that the key “to this is the changing role of social media sites like Facebook from places where people share news, to ones where they consume it”, and he is not wrong. The new media are following the well-worn path of the old media: trying to popularise passivity.
Welcome to the first years of the twentieth century all over again.