Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Still Disconnected

Dave Wiskus, of the band Airplane Mode:

Early on we ran into a problem where our Connect profile avatar was replaced with a photo of a rapper who had briefly tried to use the name “Airplane Mode” before realizing it was taken. We got things squared away with the name, but their photo remained. […]

Two weeks ago I got an email stating that I had been granted access to the Connect profile for Airplane Mode. I thought this was odd, since I already had access, so I took a look. Rather than swap out images, the Connect support folks created a new profile for us with the correct photo (which we still can’t change, by the way).

The frustration would end here if not for one little side-effect: we lost all of our posts and all of our followers. Worse yet, those posts and followers are still attached to a now-unmanned “Airplane Mode” profile, so not only do we not have any way of telling our fans to follow the new profile, they have no way of even knowing that we relocated. Anyone who was following us can now assume that we’ve just stopped making new things.

How many followers did we lose? No idea. How do we get them back? We can’t.

Like nearly every experiment from Apple in social media,1 Connect feels half-assed, half-baked, and completely unnecessary. It’s too “heavy” and complex — they’ve made it feel like a big Mercedes when social media wants to be a zippy Lotus. According to Wiskus, Connect’s artist experience blows, and that’s felt by listeners through almost no posts or interaction from the artists.

I follow 138 artists on Connect. The most recent post is from DJ Shadow, five hours ago, with a track appropriately titled “Ghost Town”; the next most recent is from School of Seven Bells from three days ago. Of the most recent thirty posts I have in my feed, not one had any interaction from the artists, and few had more than a handful of comments and likes. That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.


  1. Game Centre — the service, not the app — iMessage, and FaceTime being the exceptions. And the latter two can barely be considered “social media” in the broadcast-and-connect sense. ↩︎