Imagine, for a moment, there is a healthier alternative to Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and every other social media service you can think of. Yes, even BeReal. Imagine someone created a new, better social media service from scratch. No doomscrolling. No toxicity. There is no discourse. This new service will have the power – now, responsibility – to free us all from the yoke of Online.
Imagine what this service would be like. Imagine that it could solve a multitude of problems common to all social media platforms. Imagine that it could turn the social media experience from a Skinner Box into something fun.
What if I told you the service already exists and what’s more, it launched in 2015 alongside a hit game for the Nintendo Wii U?
For starters, each iteration of Nintendo’s Splatoon shooter comes with a naked post feature that lets users paint monochrome landscapes (or portraits, in Splatoon 3) and have it appear on user avatars and even on billboards, posters, and walls.
As someone who has led entire social media departments in the past and also sold viral to a tweet about Amelia Bedelia, I consider myself a true expert in this field. I’d like to think I’m qualified to say that Nintendo accidentally created the only good social media service in existence. Here are a few reasons why.
The reason Twitter often feels like a toxic dopamine machine is because the service is geared towards “interaction”. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether a post is good, bad, harmful or helpful. As long as people are talking about it, you’ll see the speech on your feed, because the Twitter algorithm sees all those replies and retweets and thinks, Oh, everyone wants to see this post. It can feel really good to beat someone in a QRT, but at the same time, doing it still promotes the original bad post – this afterward continue to create discourse About until the next Twitter protagonist shows up or until you throw your phone in the ocean.
Splatoon doesn’t have this problem because there is no answer. You have three ways to interact on the Splatoon social media service:
- Response “Fresh!” to the articles you like
- Report harmful post
This means no heat. No engagement boosted posts from brands. There is no algorithmic reward for interaction and no way to initiate discourse, so yes To be no discourse.
You can only post once
One of the most subtle amazing aspects of the Splatoon social media service is that each user can only have one “active” post at a time. If you want to repost, you must overwrite your previous post. This has an interesting dual effect.
While platforms like Instagram and TikTok reward you for the ability to post several times per day, Splon’s posting limit makes users think about posting differently. Sometimes this causes people to post great, elaborate, high-effort work that adorns their profile for days; in other cases it results in quick, effortless firing (splash column?). The true masters of the format can somehow do both of these things at the same time.
Paradoxically, the one-post-per-user rule causes players to both value each post (because you only get one!) and treat them as disposable (because what if you think so) about something else to post?). Those are all the best elements of Snapchat without any of the bad ones.
It’s full of cool, funny people
Splatoon, at least judging by the tone of the post, seems to be home to all the best Tumblr shitposters land after their great migration. If you jump in Splatoon 3 right now you’ll see posts celebrating Sans Undertale’s victory over Mob Psychoby Reigen Arataka in the Tumblr Sexyman tournament; posts about how easily the Nintendo 3DS can be hacked and modified; and hasty articles about how Splatoon 3 was the first Nintendo video game Queen Elizabeth II did not release. The first “viral” Splatoon 3 post came from the Global Testfire event and it simply read “I LOVE MEN” in block text.
There is a lot of public query content in Splatoon 3. Furthermore, embedding this social network in a game like Splatoon will create a self-selecting type of user where, on demand, the only people using the platform are also the people playing the game. . They are part of the Splatoon community, which means they invest in creating a non-toxic community. They are also really good at Posting. JFRESH perhaps the most famous example – they have been consistently posting pixel-perfect ads, sometimes in webcomic format, for years – but there are many other famous posters in the community as well. introduced in the corridors and stages:
You can’t follow posters you like on Splatoon, unless you search for them and send them a general friend request, meaning there’s no list of followers on posts or users. Furthermore, there is no clear indication of the amount of “Fresh!” response that a given post has. It’s all invisible – there’s no way for people to track the influence of their Splatoon posts.
This may seem like a small change, but it impacts every other posting platform out there. Even BeReal, arguably the healthiest social media platform outside of Splatoon, shows reactions, which gives users the incentive to subconsciously pursue said reactions. Making likes invisible and unfollowable means that at the end of the day you post because you want to post. You’re screaming into the void – like you’re on any other platform. Only this time, you know you won’t get a response. So you don’t expect one. Users just put something together and hope it makes someone smile or laugh and that’s where it ends. It’s BeReal’s proximity to lower pressure, mixed with Twitter’s hyper-public nature, except without the weird and toxic dopamine cycle of either.
Imagine if this was what we were given every time we touched that damn bird: Poster’s paradise. No branding, no discourse, no answers and no toxicity because no one is malicious – just a bunch of pointless posts you can sift through and add at any time. free time, where “I poop” with a surreal portrait of the Mona Lisa with tentacles for hair. Both are equally valuable and equally appreciated.