The conventional wisdom is that the future will have two kinds of video content. The first will be on-demand appointment viewing for highly produced dramas and comedies from leading services like Amazon and Netflix. The second is shitty little videos on Facebook. So the future will have highly produced dramas and comedies, shitty little videos on Facebook, and nothing in between.

Without mobile, it doesn’t matter how much money Facebook has. If you’re asking whether Zuckerberg paid too much for WhatsApp, you’re asking the wrong question. Zuckerberg is sending a message, here, that Facebook will never stop in its attempt to dominate mobile — that no amount of money is too much.

Consider what happens to text once you submit it to Facebook. Unless it’s a private message, it is likely both public and permanent. A message you posted five years ago, which felt like it was visible only to a small group of friends, still exists on your timelines, where it has become more, not less, visible over time. Facebook is now in the process of making that post searchable, making it more visible than ever and fundamentally changing what it is — not a post on a wall, or on a profile, but a field in a searchable database. Facebook’s effect on data is to make it permanent, to make it easy to find. Facebook memorializes everything you give it, including likes, comments, and reactions — an awkward layer that exists to assure you of engagement, which contrasts sharply with Snapchat’s characteristically ephemeral but deeply satisfying instant read receipts.

Snapchat’s effect on all data is to cause it to deteriorate… If you do nothing on Snapchat, you disappear from Snapchat. This is a profound difference: Facebook profiles stay public whether or not they’re current, and only change if you update or delete them. Snapchat profiles only exist when you ask them to, and they go away as soon as you stop thinking about them.

It’s not Facebook specifically that’s making you depressed — it’s everything. It’s the texts you don’t receive. It’s the exes your friends can’t seem to get rid of. It’s the cyber-bullying on Ask.fm. It’s the indexing of everything you do or say, and the photo of you, passed out on the floor of a bar that will exist on web servers until the next ice age. We focus on Facebook because it’s the largest and most information-packed of our 21st century social networks, but that only makes Facebook Exhibit A in a future where we’re all hyper-connected. We’ve all felt the pangs of envy or depression that internet-induced-FOMO provides. Facebook is just the perfect scapegoat.

Images sent between cellphones are on the rise as text messages continue to fall, according to CTIA, the trade association for the wireless industry. An industry report released this year said 2.19 trillion text messages were sent and received in 2012, about 5 percent less than a year earlier. In comparison, MMS, or multimedia messages that include photos and videos, grew by 41 percent to 74.5 billion in 2012.

Comscore confirms that Tumblr is the No. 2 social platform — right behind Facebook — in terms of visitor engagement. Moreover, Tumblr is highly popular among internet users and is ranked by Quantcast as one of the top 15 sites in the United States, making it an excellent platform for branded content efforts.

Tumblr users spend an average of 14 minutes per visit, Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp revealed… The reason for the longer session time is not that Tumblr is ‘so much better,’ Karp explained. ‘It’s very different behavior. People come here for same reason they turn their TV on when they come home at the end of the day … It’s something to do before checking your email, it’s a chance to go and see stuff you enjoy, let’s you escape from the real world. And that media experience is one that ends up consuming a fair bit more time than just the amount of time you spend checking your friends updates on Facebook or Twitter or Foursquare.’

Twitter has a more distinct model because of the celebrity and publishing model. Facebook is in a transition and I don’t know enough about what they’re transitioning to. I will tell you that, if you have a billion users, you can make money.

… Why aren’t we engaging the public more directly? I don’t mean engagement like encouraging them to “like” us on Facebook or click the retweet button. That is not engagement. By encouragement I mean, why don’t we use these incredibly powerful tools to talk with them, listen to them and help us all understand the world a little better? Perhaps we can even use social media to do the exact opposite of its reputation — slow down the news cycle, help us catch our collective breaths and scrutinize what’s happening with greater mindfulness.

Best quote from Andy Carvin’s talk this week at the International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin (via sasquatchmedia)