“Just Google it”.
How many times do you hear that sentence every day? It seems that ‘Googling’ has become synonymous with wanting to know anything about anything.
Not so, anymore, though. People are losing trust in Google, its credibility and its authenticity as of late. True, we still do most of our online searches on Google (well, at least some of us). But ask yourself, what exactly do you search for on Google?
Answers, not advice
It seems like there’s a backward correlation between our dependence on Google for quick answers to questions, and our willingness to use Google for more ‘complex’ information, such as opinions, reviews, recommendations and yes, even unbiased news.
Why is this happening? Well, SEO certainly has a lot to do with it. Digital marketers are constantly learning the ins and outs of Google search’s algorithms and using them to promote their products and services. They know exactly what content, what length, what keyword density, what meta-data is needed, so that the search results you see are what they want you to see. They know exactly when, where and how to publish their content.
That’s not new, though. Google has always been battling these tactics in order to keep its search results pages as clean as possible from sinister motives. There’s a new X factor in town, that’s giving these marketers the upper hand, and Google seems to be at a loss against it – artificial intelligence (AI).
The all seeing eye of AI
Bigger, faster, stronger – that’s basically what AI adds to the equation, any equation. This means that ‘marketed content’ can be created with AI much faster and much more optimized according to Google’s algorithms. True, the minds at Mountain View, California, make every attempt to recognize and filter computer-generated content, but it doesn’t always work and remember, as humanity gets smarter, so does the artificial intelligence that humanity itself creates.
And this is not just about Google. Other search engines such as Bing, DuckDuckGo and OpenVerse are dealing with the same situation, and just like their bigger sister Google, they don’t seem to be handling the battle very well.
What’s the solution, then? Well, as stated above, the younger generations are already shifting their attention toward ‘alternative’ search engines, such as social media networks, in order to find out what everyone’s talking about. What better place to get information than actual people who have profiles on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok? What better way to find out what everyone’s talking about than through the people you are connected to?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people are passing over Google and going straight to their social media profiles when they want to search the World Wide Web. However, it is a mistake to think that the content there is unfiltered, unbiased and mediated.
Just like on Google, content you see on Facebook and its counterparts is also promoted, even if it doesn’t always say so on the top right corner of the post or tweet. Marketers have found ways to give their content the dominance that they desire on these search engines as well. What’s worse is that people are less aware of that, because they truly think that the content they see on social media is what their friends and family share with the world, and not what the network wants you to see.
An authentic social media network?
Is there a social media platform that can give you unedited, unpromoted and unfiltered content from the people who matter to you? You’d be surprised, but the answer today is ‘yes’.
Meet Hypelist, the app and platform that is dedicated solely to becoming the place where people share their thoughts of their experiences with the world – no mediation or affiliation involved. This network was just recently launched, and has already become the talk of the social media town. It is the next big project of designer and entrepreneur Alfonso Cobo (who also founded the successful social media tool Unfold about 5 years ago).
“There is no other real social media platform today that lets you see what you want to see, not what the platform wants you to see,” explained Cobo when we asked him about this intriguing new project. “I was looking for a place where I can see what others recommend and advise on all kinds of issues, but all you get on social media is entertainment and promoted campaigns. Think about it for a moment – where can you go if you’re looking for an interesting documentary series to watch or aThai restaurant? How can you find that online without stumbling upon ads, ads and more ads whether they be affiliate or sponsored? Hypelist is here to change that.”
On Hypelist, users can share lists of recommendations, tips and guides with the people they are connected to. Hypelist does not try to distract your attention with banners and sponsored posts. You get what you search for, nothing more and nothing less, from the people you trust and whose opinions matter to you. You can show the world what really makes you you, without having to fear that they will see some mediated content instead.
As of today, Hypelist is already live, albeit still in its pilot stages, as an ‘invite-only’ platform. It is due to be open to all users in the next several months. Will this be the antidote to the spam that is easily spread by AI? Will this bring back some much-needed authenticity to social media? It is too soon to tell, but we can definitely be hopeful, and this app gives us several good reasons to.