This is enshittification: surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they're locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they're locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.

This is why – as Cat Valente wrote in her magesterial pre-Christmas essay – platforms like Prodigy transformed themselves overnight, from a place where you went for social connection to a place where you were expected to "stop talking to each other and start buying things" Capitalistic optimization

Pluralistic: Tiktok's enshittification (21 Jan 2023)
from Cory Doctorow favicon