Social Media: Then, now, & tomorrow
Social media provides a means of interaction that has consumed our current society. It seems as though wherever we go, people are constantly updating or browsing. Despite the social norm, this has not always been the case. Prior to the creation of Myspace, social interaction typically involved physically meeting up with someone, or calling them on the phone. These more intimate forms of conversing have their pros and cons, yet ultimately have turned into secondary means of communication. As Myspace started losing market share to Facebook, social media began its transformation. Though Facebook started out as a seemingly trivial competitor, it soon became a giant that has impacted our current society and the way we go about our daily lives. From Facebook, came even more social media outlets. Instead of becoming more sophisticated, it is interesting how many new and popular forms of social media have emerged that are far more simple. Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are perfect examples. While Facebook allows users to share all forms of media, the before stated applications rely on just a single picture or a short sentence. I would have thought that the progression would have been more innovative; however we as a society seem to enjoy more basic forms of online interaction. I believe that as technology has developed at such a high rate, we as humans have developed shorter attention spans and quickly lose interest. Having a continuous, yet simple ‘newsfeed’ has become more attractive.
The business implications to this change in social media dynamics is very interesting as well. Take twitter for example. A business is forced to market and attract customers using only a hand full of words and that is it. There is less opportunity for major marketing through the form of pictures, videos, or in depth descriptions. A company such as Zappos has adapted well to this new environment and been successful at reaching out to customers in this way. In my opinion, social media may be at another turning point. What started as a new and thorough method of online communication through Facebook and Myspace, has slowly spread to more simplistic means. I believe that consumers may begin losing interest in this new and dumbed down form of social media. Twitter has been on the decline for over a year and Snapchat has been forced to evolve rapidly. They are now implementing ways to incorporate payment options on the app, and there always seems to be a new update available. This is necessary to keep users exited, loyal, and constantly entertained. On the other hand, Facebook has continued to be a market leader, and has stuck to their core social media strengths. After the purchase of Instagram, they have continued their dominance. Subsequently, I see a short term and continued supremacy with Zuckerberg’s revolutionary platform. As we have seen in the past however, it is clear that we as users require an ever changing social media scene. It does not necessarily mean that the next big idea in social media will be more elaborate, it just needs to be something that will keep us entertained. I am convinced however that continued technological advancements will allow for new and improved forms of communication that will eventually take over. I can see the combination of video, picture, written, marketing, and more in a new setting that is all fully integrated. We have seen the success of all these outlets in the form of more simplistic applications; however I think that the combination of all of these things may have a powerful impact on social media in the near future.