Capitol Hill Has Big Tech In Its Sights. What Does That Mean For Us?

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Strategy

Ack, politics. We know, we know, the “p” word does bad stuff to your blood pressure, which is why at Oh Snap! we like to leave it to the pros. (It’s probably also why we’re always sunshine and rainbows over here.)
But, hey, we are a social media marketing agency based in the D.C. area, which means we’ve got an ear to the ground when it comes to legislation that might rock our little social world. Like the four bills introduced to the House last week.

Basically, these bills want to claw back some consumer power from Big Tech (and maybe even break Big Tech down into smaller pieces).

Here’s a quick summary of what’s on the table:

A measure that prevents a platform from giving preference to its own products on its own platform.

If this passes, Apple won’t be allowed to promote Apple Music over Spotify, and Amazon can’t offer up its own generic products in a product search. And Google Maps probably won’t get to claim top spot on a location search any more.

A measure that bans digital platforms owning subsidiaries that operate on their own platform and compete with other businesses.

Basically, this would mean that Google can’t own, say, a video streaming service (ie YouTube) it has an incentive to favor in search results. Similar to the above measure, the aim is to minimize favoritism within platforms. This measure could see Big Tech selling off certain products or divisions.

An antitrust measure targeting Big Tech acquisitions and consolidation.

What does this mean for us? Basically, we’ll be seeing less of Big Tech gobbling up smaller companies (looking at you, Facebook), and more clones of stuff. Facebook won’t be able to buy TikTok, so they’ll just have to keep copying its functionality for use on FB-owned platforms. Which, you know, they’re already doing via Instagram. Maybe we’ll also get some cool new competitors not owned by the Zuckster. *shrug*

An “interoperability” measure that lets users transfer their data off a platform – and to a competitor if desired.

If this passes, a small business could take Amazon reviews from Amazon and share them to another platform (yes, Amazon technically owns every review on there right now). And platforms like Facebook and Microsoft’s LinkedIn will have to open up their cross-posting features to other sites and platforms – and allow users to walk away with their data if they decide a platform is no longer for them. OH SNAP!

Whew. That was a whole bunch of info, we know, and the reality is that none of this has actually happened yet. None of it might happen at all. Not even the Magic 8 Ball knows! But for us social types, it’s a handy-dandy reminder to:

  • Make sure you’re keeping an eye on new developments (in the US and beyond)
  • Diversify your content and presence so that you’re not totally reliant on one platform or user journey. Hint: that also means spending intentional time collecting email addresses from your social media efforts. (here’s one of my top lead magnets right now that’s doing just that!)
  • Be ready to adapt and roll with whatever tech or Congress throws our way!

Need some help wrapping your head around the latest in social (whether that’s legislative or app-related)? We’ve got you! Shoot me a message over on Instagram with any questions you may have regarding social media, business and beyond. Want to find out how to work with Oh Snap! Social? Join our waitlist!