My first reaction to that report was: Didn't this happen years ago? It then dawned on me that there are still places in the world where smartphones haven't supplanted print media already, and more pain is coming for publishers in those regions.
I feel sorry for anyone who is about to lose a local newspaper or beloved magazine that can't compete in the digital age -- especially since social media doesn't offer an adequate substitute for independent journalism that doesn't kowtow to tyrants faster than the NBA's soulless lackeys kneel before China's communist overlords.
Using algorithms to tinker with people's brains and keep them hooked on an endless feed of outrage, social media will keep hastening the demise of civil discourse. But the platforms will make money, with ad revenue forecast to rise 20% this year to $84 billion, Zenith forecast.
Advertisers' combined spending on newspapers and magazines will slide 6% to $69 billion. While the forecast is dire, publishers still have an opportunity to sell more digital ads, boost online subscriptions and generate affiliate fees from ecommerce.
There is still a demand for the news, information and entertainment that publishers can provide as a counterbalance to the garbage on social media.
Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, this week said Twitter has done more damage to the United States than any other company.
"If you look at the hate and the division and the cruelty that’s now common, it wasn’t common 10 years ago. Twitter’s a huge part of that," he said while speaking to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., about the lawmaker's current lawsuit against Twitter.
Predictably, plenty of Twitter users blasted Carlson for the remarks, with some saying Fox News had done more damage to the country than any other organization. Others pointed out that President Donald Trump is a big fan of Twitter.
But Carlson has a good point. More than any other social network, Twitter lets anonymous trolls spew all kinds of toxic nonsense.
And I'm a fan of Twitter, not because I like toxic nonsense, but because I also hear about a lot of news from people I follow or from its list of trending topics. Twitter's algorithm definitely has me hooked.