Reflecting on “Frictionless Sharing”

Social media is all about user generated content (UGC). We often forget that social media companies are multibillion-dollar industries that are ultimately dependent on the content we – every day people -create. Their cyberinfrastructure is not enough by itself to hold inherent value for a social media platform. Rather, the value is maintained and grown via larger and larger amounts of user generated content. Indeed, what is often overlooked is that it is not just the increased volume of content, but it is also that we are increasingly tagging and associating this content, which makes for a certain level of stickiness (Jenkins et al.) within social media platforms. Social media platforms themselves are built to elicit content. For example, emails from Facebook saying so-and-so like this or posted this seduce/tantalize us to produce and consume content on Facebook. But, from the vantage point of social media companies and potentially us, sharing should be seamless – indeed it should almost feel ‘natural’. The notion of frictionless sharing is based on a difficult ontology that places primacy on the ‘shared self” rather than a private self. The shared self sees a social value in sharing. Some see the social function of sharing as akin to forms of social grooming when we share with others, but we also want social feedback in return. However, a perceived issue with social media is that not all of your photos, post, etc. will receive a response so the perception is that the more content one produces and shares, the more one is likely to get a social response (e.g. a like, comment, etc.).

So I ask you readers:

  • What exactly can we ‘frictionlessly’ share? [Feel free to provide examples and links]
  • How do these affect notions of the public and private?
  • Do these technologies make us more pro-social or do they inhibit sharing?
  1. Nissa said:

    Apps which allow frictionless money sharing or paypal, amazon one click. it does require a lot of set up but is advertised on the basis of protecting you from sharing your bank details. Then it allows you to share your money more easily. They encourage us to be pro-consumer.

  2. Nissa said: sharing our location and movement through mobile phone data which is re-purposed for different ends (in this case to plan for Ebola) and on a social level, perhaps something we value as a sense of fritcionless sharing (anonymised) but on a personal level is something we might not ‘consent’ to and could have reservations about if this was being used differenltly

  3. CMH said:

    The movement of bloggers from Blogspot or Tumblr (readers on their desktop) to Instagram (readers in-app, phones) has created greater friction – for style bloggers wishing to link out to e-commerce for items they are wearing, for example, the limitation of Instagram is that linking out to other sites interrupts the “natural” flow of content that users expect. LiketoKnowIt is an app that aims to help bloggers/publishers etc frictionlessly share the fact that you can buy items – “making Instagram shoppable.” If the user who is signed up to the service likes a photo, they will later receive an email with a list of the items they can buy. In this case Ease of sharing equates with ease of selling for publishers/bloggers. This is also a strange case of frictionless sharing with oneself – the Instagram user wants to know where they can buy stuff, but they would rather know later on than experience friction in their Instagram browse.

  4. Khusi said:

    I do not want to share any of my personal details whom I do not know. Thus, I have two Facebook accounts: one private ( for people within my circle), and another for public ( where I do not disclose my private details). In Goffman’s dramatological term, my public Facebook account is like ‘stage’ where I try to do ‘impression management’.
    To me, social media are becoming more and more intrusive to your private life, and I try to be careful what to share and what not to share.
    However, I still believe that ‘to be in social media means becoming more social rather than not.’

  5. Louise Faurby said:

    Location is not really private anymore. Location is captured and shared by several applications. I often see location as an opt-in for users to share with other users (sometimes people are not even being asked), but I guess that this option mean, that your location as shared with the application everytime you use it. Examples are:

    City mapper

  6. Patsy said:

    I am looking at an mobile app called ‘Forest’. you want to focus on work/ study/ with friends, you start the app. If you want to go back to the smarphone, you will recieve a warning ‘ you will kill the tree, are you sure?’
    You can share your “forest” with friends on Facebook / Twitter by showing the number of “trees”

    It is an idea to use social media to inhibit sharing by sharing how long you are away from social media / smartphone.

    It is ironic that staying away from smartphone itself is private, as you are not connected to the ‘public ‘ / internet. but now you put it public ! And you have to remember to start to the app, before you can really be away from social media. I usually forget to do that so there is rarely a tree in my ‘forest’.

    It is also interesting to lookg at how it ‘recreate’ my personality when I share this to my facebook. Am I become more social/ antisocial, as I don’t stay away from the smartphone too much? or I seems lack of self-discipline?

  7. Christine said:

    Frictionless Sharing:

    What we like on Facebook
    For example if you like a company’s Facebook page it will post in your network’s feed that you like them and share the company information. I think this can be positive and negative. Positive – if you want to tell your social network with just one click that you like something in particular. Negative – it will post sporadically that you like the company within our social feed and it looks like an endorsement. You may have just liked the page to enter a competition and have forgotten but your friends will continuously see you promoting the company while you are unaware of this.
    It shares petitions that you sign but this may be problematic if you unwittingly agree to share this information but don’t want to publicly share your political views and forms of activism within your social network

  8. Charles said:

    Pinterest boards can be automatically connected to Facebook timelines. Beyond having a sharing button on the pin, Pinterest will automatically share objects from the Pinterest website to your Facebook timeline sharing without friction beyond the initial connection and linking to timeline. This can also be done with twitter. This appears to be an interesting development, with both positive and negative consequences.

  9. Rui and Heidi said:

    From our point of view almost everything could be shared on social networks or via apps. Indeed it is interesting to see that this option became a default function on most of the applications available on the market. Images seem to be the most sharable content on networks. Nonetheless it is common for me to see other kind of content such as running data from my friends or even sleep patterns coming from trackers which are always sharing. Another point is that older people tend to share information without even really knowing it. This could be explained because for them it is really difficult to understand how they can switch off this particular option. if we thing further on this older people are not aware of the privacy terms of these platforms. The shared behavior is heavily promoted in some games as a reward.

  10. Chinese people will usually use We Chat to scan the QR code of a restaurant on the web page, in order to share the information such as the location, phone number, comments, pictures. Generally, QR code makes information to be shared easier by use smartphone.

  11. Serg said:

    That’s a kind of Russian ‘Facebook’ clone. The main difference is that it has a large database of audio-, video- and text-files downloaded to the website by its users. To say the truth, it’s a pirate database, but it enables very fast, almost frictionless sharing. However, I’m not certain whether it is an example of frictionless sharing in a strict sense of term.

  12. davide said:

    Frictionlessly share
    Games:Tribal War, Candy Crash,
    Dating: okcupid,, lovestruck,
    Web radio: Jango, Radio Jarvan
    Music: spotify,iTunes
    Social: Fb,Pinterest,Airbnb,Meetup,Twitter,Wechat,Flipbosrd,Flicker,Google+,Instagram,EyeEm, YuoTube, iLobster
    Health & Fitness: Calorie Counter,Fitness Buddy,Run with Map

    Some of the above applications can be completely open to anyone like twitter,flicker because very popular or build to be easy accessible other like Jango or dating application only people subscribed can access the data and i can argue that the border between private and public can change and the frictionless or friction border too and this is related to purpose the application/service has been built for.
    People can accept to experience/share something from an subscribed application for example dating and reject the very same thing from an open source such as Fb

    Applications can make us more pro-social because can publish information we could not be aware of if our device/app literacy is poor. After is becoming a personal choice. Probably the age can impact on such frictionlessly sharing approach; younger are more pro because friends are doing and more older can refrain their self in doing

  13. Miranda said:

    Step tracking phone App ‘moves’ counts how many steps you take and also tracks your geo-location which you are able to share on your facebook timeline or individuals

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