What would society look like without social media? Where would technology be if it weren’t for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, pushing the boundaries of human attention and social connectivity? When Facebook became “a thing” I was hesitant to create an account because, at the time, I had a MySpace and an ICQ account, and SMS was sufficient for staying connected with my community. Little did I know, how meaningful Facebook would become by allowing me to create international connections, find people to do local activities with, and reminisce on “the good ol’ days”. An Ugly Truth tells a different story. It alleges Facebook prioritized platform growth over user security and content integrity. While bashing Facebook is a sure-fire way of getting attention in a market that competes for attention, I look forward to learning more about the complex machine that operates Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. From No Filter, I hope to learn more about how Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger built their photo-sharing app that would become Instagram. Apparently, it’s building on the American drama film The Social Network which tells Mark Zuckerberg’s ideation and launch of thefacebook.com. Lastly, Hatching Twitter is an honorary mention. It’s a story that should be a movie. I read it a while back and, in light of Elon Musk running it into the ground, will likely read it again.
Ballistic books is a series to present literature of interest. Each edition is dedicated to a specific topic. I found it challenging to discover and distinguish good from great literature. With this series, I aim to mitigate that challenge.
- An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel & Cecilia Kang
Sheera Frenkel is a technology reporter based in San Francisco. You can find Sheera Frenkel on Twitter @sheeraf. Cecilia Kang is a technology reporter for The New York Times. You can find Cecilia Kang on Twitter @ceciliakang
- No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier
Sarah Frier is a technology reporter for Bloomberg News out of San Francisco. You can find Sarah Frier on Twitter @sarahfrier
Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and filmmaker. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair. You can find Nick Bilton on Twitter @nickbilton