In the past decade, we have witnessed various social networks come and go. There has been no exact pattern that indicates how long particular social networks will last or what will be next. The social atmosphere has evolved completely as we transitioned from social networks like Friendster and Myspace to a wide variety of social networks that include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine. So what’s next? How can we get a head start on what the next huge social network will be? Let’s find out.
In order to successfully determine what the next social network will be, you have to do a few things- analyze the facts, subscribe to the latest social media news, and most importantly, follow the kids. Let’s start with the facts. In 2012, Facebook announced that they reached over a billion users. That’s a lot of people right? Despite this amazing accomplishment Facebook’s overall activity from users has declined significantly, along with their market shares. Prior to the decline many people were already transitioning into rising social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube, which has accumulated millions of users over the years. Would it be safe to say that Facebook as a whole is in decline? Ironically, many businesses still spend their whole marketing budget there.
Twitter’s situation is a bit different due to a variety of reasons. For one, it provides the opportunity for celebrities to be directly connected to their fans, creating more of an incentive to use Twitter. In addition to that, Twitter feeds are constantly being promoted on media outlets such as ESPN and the News. Think about it – How often do you see a news reporter or journalist refer to what someone said on Twitter? Even more mind boggling, there has been rumors that Twitter’s improved search engine may appear as a threat to Google. Although Twitter may not be numerically as large as Facebook yet I’m going to predict that it will sustain a lifespan that will outlive any social network.
Of course, we still have Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Vine, and even Path that’s growing rapidly. It’s becoming extremely difficult for the typical American to keep up with the fast-paced evolution of social media. However, it is one group of people who will keep up no matter what, the younger generation. Let’s face it, the future of social media lies in our kids’ hands as weird as it may sound. They depict what is “cool” and are the ultimate decision-makers of if a social network is going to gain momentum or not. Older generations are finally getting accustomed to Facebook and Twitter while younger generations have already migrated to Instagram, Vine, and Path. I’m not implying that younger markets are no longer on networks like Facebook because that’s not quite accurate due to different demographics using different social networks to connect with each other. But I am implying that the most popular social network in your community is dictated by the younger generation.
As time progresses, marketing directors and social media coordinators will have tough decisions to make when deciding which platform is best to reach their targeted audience. Those who will make the best decisions will consider the three factors that I mentioned in this blog – the facts, latest news, and what younger generations are doing. What are your thoughts? Share this post and let us know.