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It's comeback season for social media

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 01: In this photo illustration the logo of US online social media and social networking site 'X' (formerly known as Twitter) is displayed centrally on a smartphone screen alongside that of Threads (L) and Instagram (R) on August 01, 2023 in Bath, England. On the top row the logo of online video sharing and social media platform YouTube is seen alongside that of Whatsapp and TikTok. Along the bottom row Facebook, Quora amd Messenger are displayed. Elon Musk recently revealed the new logo for Twitter, which constitutes the letter 'X' as part of a rebrand of the company. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
A new generation of social media apps is popping up as users grow weary of apps like Instagram and TikTok.Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Welcome back to our Saturday edition! I'm here with a question: Would you ever go on a honeymoon-style trip with your best friend? One reporter enjoyed her buddymoon — and found that her 14-year friendship was strengthened.

On the agenda today:

But first: Social media is making a comeback.


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Instagram logo with a crown
highdog/Getty, Instagram, Tyler Le/BI

Dispatch

Social media is getting a second wind

I joined Facebook with much enthusiasm back when they were only approving folks with a .edu email address. Before long, I was using the Mark Zuckerberg-created platform to upload a smattering of unedited photos from my digital camera, find out who was in my classes on campus, and "poke" old high school buddies.

Soon my account became a graveyard of photos, now hidden and viewable by "only me." Instead of coming up with pithy and creative — if I do say so myself — statuses, I began doing things IRL instead. I'm not alone: Sharing on social media has tapered off, Business Insider reported back in 2023, but consuming content hasn't. Now social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others — are clamoring to get users to stay just a little while longer.

Instagram beat TikTok in downloads last year, mostly thanks to Threads and Reels. And now Facebook's Poke feature is back, and apparently a hit with Gen Z, a demographic that was waning on the platform.

It's clear social media isn't giving up without a fight — and right now, it seems we're OK with that.


Kate Middleton is receiving treatment for cancer.
Kate Middleton is receiving treatment for cancer.BBC Studios

Kate Middleton's diagnosis

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, revealed yesterday she's been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.

She said she received the diagnosis while undergoing abdominal surgery in January. One oncologist told BI it's not uncommon for doctors to screen for cancer after invasive surgeries.

Get the full rundown here.

Also read:

The author standing on snow looking at green northern lights over mountains.
I spent five nights chasing the auroras with a company called Aurora Holidays.Aurora Holidays

Your guide to the aurora borealis

BI's reporter traveled to Finland's northernmost municipality, Utsjoki, to check something off her bucket list: catching the northern lights. Nearly 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the tiny village offers some of the best chances at seeing the aurora.

Her excursion was filled with surprises — like that the lights are less vivid in real life than in photos, and that she only saw them once on a five-night trip.

Read all of her takeaways from Lapland.


Photo illustration of Sam Altman collaged with clocks, pills, and beakers.
Andrew Caballero-Reynold/Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez

Sam Altman wants to extend our lives

You may know him for his work with OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT. But Altman has another, lesser-known endeavor: Retro Biosciences.

The $180 million project has an ambitious goal. By betting big on three antiaging methods, Altman hopes to add 10 healthy, enjoyable years to humans' lives.

Inside Altman's longevity ambitions.


Pete Ballmer Headshot
Pete Ballmer, Abanti Chowdhury/BI

Life as a billionaire's son

Growing up, Pete Ballmer knew his family was wealthy — but didn't realize just how rich they really were.

Despite being billionaire and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's son, Pete says he and his siblings didn't get more expensive Christmas gifts. They didn't get fancy cars. He writes that he even felt a bit ashamed of it, and downplayed his wealth.

Here's what it's like to grow up (really) rich.


A television with an interference screen
saravuth-photohut/Getty, Tyler Le/BI

What we're watching this week

  • "Anatomy of a Fall": The Oscar-winning film is now available on Hulu.

  • "Palm Royale": Check out the first three episodes of Kristen Wiig's period comedy.

  • "3 Body Problem": Watch the highly anticipated new sci-fi epic from the creators of "Game of Thrones," now streaming on Netflix.

    Check out the full list here.


More of this week's top reads


The Insider Today team: Joi-Marie McKenzie, editor-in-chief, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.

Read the original article on Business Insider