Enter, tastefluencer: The rise of a curator economy

People get thousands of likes on their wedding posts. Abhay Arora gets as many on a post about a wedding playlist. Last week, he uploaded a carousel post on his Instagram account, @thatmusicproject, featuring clips from nine popular wedding songs in Hindi and Punjabi. It fetched over 20,000 likes. His cheeky caption pegged itself to the viral news of the moment: “Leaked wedding playlist for Kiara and Sid’s big-fat Indian wedding.”

A few rows below, he has another playlist—a curation of songs th

What you liked, shared, subscribed to in 2022

What you liked, shared, subscribed to in 2022

This is not the first year-in-review piece you’re reading and it won’t be the last.

It is fashionable to do a Spotify-Wrapped-esque edition around this time of the year but it’s also good to be aware that you cannot emulate the pop culture significance of a year-ender that shows you the mirror while violins play in the background. With that preemption, let’s look back at our journey of understanding the world of Like.Share.Subscribe through this ye

The internet's shiny new toys and you

The internet's shiny new toys and you Writing about the internet increasingly feels rather confusing. Is this a reality show one is watching unfold? Is it a circus? Dystopia? Or all of the above? AI’s various gifts set the internet ablaze these past few weeks. In the first week of December, Open.ai's ChatGPT, AI-generated-text chatbot, mesmerized everyone on my timeline. Soon, there was a palpable fear that it may eat up many jobs. By the end of the fortnight, though, it was clear that the chatb

The season of 'seenzoned' and too many notifications

Nipun Jain has a complicated relationship with social media notifications. When she receives one, the 26-year-old artist finds herself reacting to it in her head but often forgets to share her reaction with the sender. “If it’s something funny they send, for instance… I see, I laugh, I move on.” Two days later, she realises she has missed responding but a “haha” won’t suffice now, “so you tell yourself you will send a proper reply in a bit”. That almost never happens. “I think I have lost touch

Can IMDb fix the fault in its stars?

Himanshu Khanna would like to create an IMDb rival. IMDb, or the internet movie database, is a 32-year-old one-of-a-kind online film directory owned by Amazon. It is a user-operated site, meaning anyone can add and edit the content on the site if they have an IMDb account (which is as basic as creating an account on any social network). Over the years, users have populated this site with upwards of 477 million data items, including details like the title and release dates of content across multi

We need to TikTalk

It has been two and a half years since TikTok got banned in India for security concerns. Half a dozen homegrown alternatives have come up during this period. Some folded over time, and others consolidated. And even as YouTube and Instagram plan to roll out monetisation of their TikTok equivalents, Shorts and Reels, respectively, (many) Indian creators haven’t been able to move on from the Chinese app that fetched them millions of followers and a global audience. Anushree Jain says she knows crea

Are you a social media user or are you being ‘used’ by it?

We are all social media users, but some of us are actively realising how social media is ‘using’ us. While the epiphany applies to all, it affects professional content creators rather deeply. “You find yourself putting things out just because the algorithm needs feeding… a monster designed to forget you the second you stop feeding it,” says comedian Rohan Joshi, via an Instagram post earlier this week. “This isn’t a bug but the future,”

Why every brand is saying it with stickers

I have a sticker that says, ‘I don’t even have a sticker that can show my reaction to this’." Devarsh Thaker, 30, uses this as an example of how popular stickers have become in online conversations. Thaker leads marketing at FamPay, a teen UPI payment app. The fintech firm has put two people in charge of making stickers to engage with its 90,000-member community of teenagers on Discord, an instant messaging social platform popular with the Gen Z cohort.

“Our research tells us that Gen

Bro, I accidentally got a million followers

“It took me seven years to reach a million [followers], and then 20 more days to hit another million. It surely is a lot to take in.” A popular entertainment content creator sent me this note via their agency earlier this week. The hike in their Instagram follower count in the last three weeks, in their own words, is “surreal”. Since this was around the same time that a “glitch” led to a massive drop in followers for several digital creators on the platform, many initially thought a sudden spike

Where are all your ‘likes’ going?

Aman has given up on ‘likes’. The 25-year-old software developer, who posts contextual memes at @AmanHasNoName_2, gets an average of 50 likes on an Instagram post even though his analytics show the post has been shared or saved by four times as many users. Despite content gaining massive traction on social media platforms, people are not getting as many ‘likes’ on their viral posts as they once used to. Frustrating as it may seem to creators–because the ‘number