7 buzzwords you won’t hear again by the end of the year

Maybe you can imagine that as «Head of Innovation, Social Media Advertising & Strategic Projects» {No, I’m not a unicorn.} of the largest private media company in Switzerland {Yes, the largest media company in Switzerland belongs to the state. No, Karl Marx is not its director} I get confronted with buzzwords every couple minutes. I have to deal with people who often don’t have a f****** clue what they’re even talking about and just parrot what so called digital evangelists, bloggers, influencers, keynote speakers, Donald Trump and Mickey Mouse poop out on a daily basis. Actually this is the main reason I started to blog again: The blog landscape is full of homogeneous fairy tales which became the general opinion of the majority. Because those fairy tales get shared and shared thousands or even hundreds of thousands times. That’s why I want to write «the inconvenient truth about digital innovation, social media, media economics and… philosophy {!}».

Fasten your seat belt and find here seven almost religiously treated buzzwords you won’t hear again by the end of the year. And please share the article with your buzzword pooping supervisor.

1. Snapchat
Just have a look at the comparison of the user growth between Instagram and Snapchat.

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I think that shows momentum and speaks for itself. If you multiply that momentum with Snapchat’s stock price development, it’s clear that Snapchat will die, pivot or get acquired by Facebook or Google – and then die.

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Finally the times when hyper nervous marketing managers and chief editors come to me and say «We need to be on Snapchat or we will lose Millennials and then die» come to an end! Snapchat is going to be the next Twitter. So let’s have a look at Twitter.


Have you ever noticed that Twitter has never had its breakthrough in Europe? There is a simple reason for that: Europeans are just not that meshugge and easy to convince as Americans. Europe is the intellectual center of skepticism, the mother of enlightenment and the daughter of a Phoenician king. I have to admit: Donald Trump’s election was some kind of a short rebirth for Twitter. Even my grandmother began to say «He tweeted that yesterday». For a millisecond I doubted that Twitter is going to die. But this millisecond just lasted a millisecond. Twitter just has no added value in a user’s everyday {digital} life. Twitter is a platform for elites such as journalists, politicians, CEOs, wannabe digital entrepreneurs and influencers. «Normal» people, which are luckily the majority, just give a sh**. Twitter will die, pivot or get acquired by Facebook or Google – and then die.


Come on, don’t be that surprised! Chatbots are simply ridiculous, especially for news platforms. Who the f*** wants to «talk» with an «artificial intelligence» which is merely as intelligent as a remote-controlled robot that is slipping on a banana peel? I’ve tested dozens of chatbots, dozens of so called «automated services» on news platforms, insurance companies, airlines and so on. Soothing conclusion: I am hell of convinced that it will take years and years until «artificial intelligence» is intelligent enough to serve human beings in a really helpful way. Until further notice we can put up our feet on the table and continue to pretend to be working. 


Virtual Reality
What a huge disappointment! Actually I’m honestly sad that virtual reality is such a nonevent. I was an early adopter of HTC Vive and was pretty confident at that time that virtual reality will blow everybody’s mind and will become the next big thing or the «fourth wave» in tech. Facebook bought Oculus Rift, Playstation launched its own virtual reality set and «Black Mirror» produced some creepy horror stories about that topic, too. Yes, virtual reality would rule the world… but wait, what happened? Actually, I really don’t know. Is it too expensive? Is it too complicated? Is it too geeky? Is it just the fact that virtual reality is not tailored for our smartphones? Maybe. My HTC Vive lies under my table, completely covered with dust. And I still haven’t unboxed my Oculus Rift yet (!). Well, you won’t hear again anything about virtual reality for a long time.


5. Instant Articles and Accelerated Mobile Pages
I knew it! I knew it from the very beginning! Instant Articles, Accelerated Mobile Pages and other salvific Trojan Horses like that are just cheap attempts from Facebook and Google to keep the user journey as long within the Facebook and Google universe as possible. Cleverly sold as tool to gain more reach, more story views and more revenue on Facebook as well as more organic search traffic via Google, on the one hand InstantArticles never had its breakthrough – on the contrary: Various publishers recently claimed that InstantArticles had no relevant impact on reach, story views, revenue and other «buzzwordy» KPIs. On the other hand I think that the more organic search traffic a media brand has the less the media brand is perceived as a media brand. Do you really want that? No, you want as much direct traffic as possible. Direct traffic is the biggest compliment for a media brand. The more direct traffic you have, the more users really love your brand. And that’s good for your business.


Do you remember: There was that CEO from the biggest media company in Germany who said the following back then:

«Jeder Verleger der Welt sollte sich einmal am Tag hinsetzen, um zu beten und Steve Jobs dafür zu danken, dass er die Verlagsbranche rettet.» Mathias Döpfner.

Which means: «Every publisher in the world should sit down once a day in order to pray and thank Steve Jobs for saving the publishing industry.»

B***, please.


7. Vero
Don’t you get it? It is simply impossible to build a new social network in order to mess with Facebook and came a relevant competitor in the digital landscape. The market capitalization of Facebook is bigger than the GDP of most of the countries in the world. Facebook is too big to fail and won’t be the next MySpace. Even the «Cambridge Analytica» epic fail cannot harm Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s products will rule the world for the next couple of decades and you have to play his game – or you’re out. Actually it’s not only his game. You have to obey the rules of the big four: Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. Every single trial to compete with those four will end in copy-and-paste, acquisition or courting the complete staff of your next unicorn startup. Every single super brain in the world will sooner or later work for the big four – or SpaceX and eventually Tesla, if Elon Musk concentrates his resources to build a self-driving car that is actually smarter than our remote-controlled robot from above, it doesn’t seem so.