Privacy

Privacy, or Who is your Target Audience? Most social networks have some sort of customizable privacy setting. Can you friends view your profile? What parts of your profile can they see? Can strangers view your profile? Can people in the same school, same city…

Privacy on social media, (I have yet to determine whether I should examine Wechat or Instagram) is revolved around the concept “just because you can see it doesn’t mean it was meant for you to see”. For people using Instagram to document their lives for themselves and set their accounts on private, they are utilizing the software Instagram developed, but choose to not use the platform, nor the other people on that platform. Wechat also realizes this concept, and allows you to set groups to determine who you’d want to see what you’re posting on Moments. So for every single photo you post on moments, you can choose exactly who you’d want to see it. As a very passive member of social media (I have many social media accounts but don’t post on most of them), it is always interesting to see people who either 1) document every single event in their lives, 2) refuse to create social media accounts.

Most people fall somewhere in between, and social media is quite comprehensive by managing to cater to all of these people. The versatility of these platforms is quite a complex matter. Was it intentionally designed to be this way, or was it discovered along the way at some point that more private people would want to create accounts too? For Wechat, this question is irrelevant, the main purpose of Wechat is not the Moments add-on. But for Instagram, an app based on “sharing”, I can’t help but wonder if the initial target group was “people who’d potentially want everyone to see their photos”. Or was it created with the a “here is the platform, do what you wish” type of sentiment?

tl;dr: the idea is to either look at Instagram’s feature of setting your account on private, or Wechat’s feature to choose your audience on moments, both falling under the bigger concept of privacy.

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