The creators seem to be overlooking the key elements of a social media, focusing too much in the media technicalities but neglecting the social intricacies.
Socialphy is a de facto extension of Taringa, its current members already have a very particular humor, expressions and idiosyncrasies which are very specific to a certain geodemography.
As it often happens in the business world, the more often neglected and yet vital element is: the culture.
This Socialphy/Taringa linksharing format created by itself a very unique culture around it.
But they neglected that the change of the design would also change the way that people could express themselves. For instance, the quoting boxes allowed its users to create “escaleras” (nested boxes) which had a very visual impact as a means of protest or just for the sheer fun of it, but now with the new web redesign that’s became impossible.
Graphical memes created by Taringueros (Taringa users) aren’t really possible to be shared with people outside that circle, some of them are incomprehensible even among their own countrymen who aren’t familiar with Taringa.
Although people usually protest when there are changes, they tend to end up adapting themselves (albeit reluctantly) to new environments, as long as the changes are not drastic.
That’s the very source of evolution in our natural world. What web developers must not neglect is that it also happens in the digital world, as long as its users are humans.
There have been researches about the social perception of changes using PET Scans and fMRIs to monitor our brain activity, and it’s been revealed that changes are perceived as “painful” in our brains… when we say that changes are a “pain in the ass” might not be purely a figurative speech! That explains why it is so hard to adapt to any kind of changes.
As I mentioned before, cultural changes impacts also in the corporate world, for example: when there are mergers and acquisitions (fusiones y adquisiciones de empresas) the clashes of cultures between both organizations can be very stressful and the improper dealing with this clash might end up bringing down the parent company to the ground.
It is now a given in the industry that the organizational culture is very important and delicate.
Different groups prefer not joining a group they feel they don’t belong, and it is a very known phenomena in sociology and in social psychology.
Where I am getting with all this? The obvious aspirations of its creators (The Botbols brothers and the Jap fellow) are to create a social media in English leveraging from the successful Argentine Taringa, but with its core initial members being Argentines or Latinos it seems that they might be shooting themselves in their feet.
The founders are trying to entice native English speaking users to a Socialphy which already has a very unique well-established culture, nurtured by Taringueros who are bringing all their cultural baggage from Taringa, along with their poorly translated posts, and jokes/graphical memes that only someone with a hispanic background would understand.
New native English users would not only have a difficult time adapting themselves to a drastic new environment (layout, features, rules), but also they would have a hard time understanding the new culture (inside jokes/memes, language barriers, idiosyncrasies).
The key question is: will they really get the hang of it before getting tired and fed up?
If everything is left as it is, the probable outcome is that it will end up failing, becoming an interesting case study about how neglecting the sociocultural variable is imprudent when you are designing a social network.
It would be interesting to see how this experience turns out to be.