Internet company, please don’t treat me as a young man

Some young people look cool and stylish, but when they take out their phones and open the App, the big characters are right in front of them.

If you continue to ask, he won't be embarrassed, he will just say to you lightly: It works well, it's much easier to use than the standard version.

How fresh, more and more young people are using the elderly version of the App. When the Internet began to tailor a piece of "pure land" for the elderly, the young man showed an expression of envy on his face, tried it out, and decided to "move."

Escape the standard version of the App, young people have been suffering from advertising and bloated for a long time

"Friday carpooling day, put together a 10% discount!" "Free bills to be claimed! If you don't claim it within 5 minutes, the red envelope will be invalid!" It’s only 88 now, sign up now!"

Skip the advertisement, close the advertisement pop-up window, be wary of inexplicable page jumps caused by hand sliding, endure the unpleasantness of sudden advertisements in the information stream, knowing that it is futile or hope to click "not interested" again and again…this is the next one Ordinary Internet users, one day surfing the Internet.

Attention is robbed, you are forced to accept meaningless information, and you are forced to maintain "awareness of advertising" 24 hours a day. The Internet's advertising revenue model seems to think that this era is not enough for the information explosion.

Since the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the "Special Action Plan for the Ageing and Accessibility of Internet Applications" in December last year , a variety of apps have launched a large print version / senior version / care version.

According to regulations, in addition to large fonts and a simple and convenient interface, the age-appropriate version cannot display ad plug-ins, nor can it have buttons for temptation to download and pay. Once the plan was announced, the elderly did not feel much, and the young people first stood up and cheered and applauded.

At the beginning of this year, my colleague Xiao Huang played all seven remodeled elderly apps . What impressed him was the built-in large-character mode of the Himalaya App, which is easy to use, concise, and without ads. He said that he can safely install and use it for his elders.

▲ Left: Original App. Right: Large print mode

And what made him scream about the case was the Didi Travel Care version: No call to borrow money for financial management, no goods to move, and no coupons for taxis for grocery shopping…Nothing except taxis.

From the bloated original App to the clean and refreshing version suitable for the old, Didi Chuxing is like a 200-jin friend who successfully lost weight.

▲ Left: Original App. Right: The old man takes a taxi

If it were not for the emergence of the elderly version of the App, we would have almost forgotten that Internet products can be designed so concisely and efficiently.

Today, if an Internet product wants to become bigger and stronger, bloatware seems to be an inescapable "destiny". Facebook, WeChat, Alipay…These "super apps" started with only one or two core functions at the time, and continued to add ambitions to become a platform, connecting everything, and becoming a huge behemoth that occupies one side.

To a certain extent, a product "can do everything" means convenience (no need to switch App), but it also means that the cost of learning and use is extremely high. What keywords do I need to search to get direct results? Where should I click to jump to where I can find the operation I want? Why can’t I find the function that I used only two days ago?

It’s not difficult to understand why elderly users instinctively uninstall and reinstall the app when they encounter advertisement pop-ups when using the app-the child told us not to mess around, we dare not click, and I don’t know where to click what.

In a report on the public account "Please pay attention to Xiong Chumo" , Wang Ran, the interviewee, probably spoke the aspirations of young people.

Opening the App is like walking into a maze. The pop-up windows are covered with pop-up windows, and the UI is covered with UI. You can’t retreat for a long time if you make a mistake. So many bells and whistles are like crazy… The interface of the old version is simple and refreshing. Suitable for young people.

Which is the real "utopia" of the elderly version, the international version and the youth model?

Under related hot topics on Weibo, some netizens posted that the Alipay elder model is good, and some took the initiative to adjust the Himalaya App to a large print version. And a Weibo netizen named @ Final Fantasy少女- left a thought-provoking comment:

I think this is not the old version, but the human version.

Regardless of the "big font" that is closely related to the eyesight of the elderly, why does "easy to use, concise, and no ads" become a requirement for the elderly version of the app? Shouldn't it be something that all apps strive to achieve?

If it is big and complicated because of ambition, then the Internet's obsession with advertising is purely because of revenue. Taking Weibo as an example, the 2021 Q2 financial report released in August showed that Weibo's net revenue was 574.5 million US dollars, of which advertising and marketing revenue reached 502.3 million US dollars. Such a large piece of sweet pastry is hard to miss.

In order to escape the bloat of advertising and Internet products, young people have also made other attempts and compromises. Before the release of the senior version of the App, the international version/overseas version was their "haven".

APPSO has evaluated several products such as the international version of Weibo, bilibili, and WeTV , and found that the international version of the App generally has fewer (or no) advertisements, but the corresponding functions will be more concise (not rich enough).

For example, compared with the domestic version of Bilibili, the international version of bilibili has no ads, but there is no member purchase and live broadcast section. Compared with the domestic version, the biggest highlight of the international version of Weibo is that you can browse the information stream according to the timeline. The interface is also simplified and the short video section is removed, but it is still inevitable that ads will be displayed.

▲ The international version of some apps shared among netizens, pictured from Xiaohongshu user @白小拿

If you don’t like to watch live broadcasts, the youth mode is also a good choice for "self-purification".

Even, maybe because of the "no use from 22:00 to 6:00 the next day" rule, you can also develop the habit of getting up and going to bed early.

▲ Left: Douyin Youth Mode. Right: Kugou Music Youth Mode

And my colleague Xiao Huang, in order to hold down his hand to swipe through Moments, he made the WeChat discovery page "nothing left":

▲ is a ruthless person

At the moment, it seems that young people are interested in the older version of the app because the pain point seems to have found a solution here, and they can take a break and take a breath. But it cannot truly become a "utopia"-many of these elderly apps still have problems, and they cannot even protect the more than 60 million "silver-haired" mobile Internet users in China .

It is said that advertising is strictly prohibited, but the Kugou large print version first comes to an "extremely smart advertisement" when the screen is opened. You don't need to click actively, as long as you twist your phone accidentally with a shaking hand, you can jump to the details page or third-party applications.

Don't worry, your ads are indispensable when you listen to songs. The delicious and cheap hairy crabs are most suitable for listening to Liu Ruoying's "Later"!

Advertisements are also hidden in the news on Baidu and UC.

In addition to advertising, senior apps also like to greet you to earn coins. Click on the large-character version of Baidu and it will immediately pop up "Exclusive for new users, congratulations! Received a cash red envelope of 68 yuan". This small red envelope will follow you like psoriasis when reading the news. This kind of routine is exactly the same as the speedy version of apps that mainly sink the market.

Qutoutiao’s “Internet Life Report for the Elderly” released last year showed that older people are more enthusiastic about interactive functions such as signing in, completing tasks, receiving gold coin rewards, and games than young people. Among them, the average per capita gold coin collection for people over 60 years old is 2,732, which is higher than the data of users aged 40-60 (2142) and users aged 20-40 (2023).

Does the elderly really like it, or does this app have found the secret to cutting "new leeks"? Watch the news and watch videos to receive gold coins, but when gold coins are exchanged and withdrawn, you need to invite new friends or share multiple clicks. Is this treating elderly users as daily live traffic and cheap promoters?

At the beginning of "move" using the elderly app, the young man thought: Internet companies, please don't treat me as a young man! I don't want to watch advertisements, and I don't want to track the data for you. My "cyber wool" is almost bald by you, so let me be a quiet old man for years.

But when it was discovered that elderly users could not escape the fate of Leek, the young people just wanted to say:

Internet companies, please treat us as individuals.

#Welcome to follow Aifaner's official WeChat account: Aifaner (WeChat ID: ifanr), more exciting content will be provided to you as soon as possible.

Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo