5 Thoughts on the Future of Social Media
1. Social Media Is Here to Stay
This may seem like an obvious statement at this point but there are people out there who will say they aren’t really using Facebook anymore, or that their kids don’t even have Facebook or Twitter. While this may be true, and “Facebook fatigue” may be a real thing…the evidence shows usage is high as ever and the younger generations are moving on to the next forms of socializing online: Social Media 2.0
2. Devices Won’t (Don’t) Matter
The jury is already out on how people will access and interact with social service providers. The chart below is from 2013 and the trend only continues toward mobile. However you will have the choice of device as networks will continue to support multiple platform so your interactions will be seamless across all your connected devices.
As social surfing becomes one of the primary uses for a connected device, it is the most poplar social networks that will be in the drivers seat while the operating systems will become less and less important. As we have seen with Blackberry, if developers aren’t supporting a specific device or operating system, user will steer clear if it means they can’t use their favourite services.
3. Unlikely to have “The Next Facebook”
While people wait and wonder what will be the next big one, and who will be the next Mark Zuckerberg ? The answer is most likely that there won’t be …in the same sense. Social media, in its infancy, created billionaires by entrepreneurs building these companies from the ground up as they found there way to defining what we now know as social media. Now that the industry is established, we can expect it to behave much like the rest of the tech industry where you see smaller start up’s get bought out by the already established larger companies. This is exactly what happend with Twitter’s newest offering : Periscope. Read more about their acquisition here
What is Periscope?
4. Content Creation vs. Consumption
Most people still use social media as a way to consume online content. weather it be blog articles like this one, cat videos, memes or just family photos. A lot of what you see on Facebook is just a “share” of someone else’s content.
It is my view that going forward the focus of successful social media sites will be on the creation of content. Examples include creativity on Instagram, funny Snapchat/Vine videos and sharing online gaming via Youtube or Twitch. As the co-founder of Periscope mentions in the above video in #3, the celebrity connection is obvious. The better the content the more successful these services will be. You may not be interested in watching your aunt eat a salad… but how about seeing your favourite band from the 3rd row, A night’s worth of entertainment live from The Comedy Store or breaking news at it unfolds from an eye witness point of view.
What will the next platform consist of ?
5. Changing the Way We Consume Traditional Media
“It just occurred to me, there were so many smart phones out there, why wasn’t there a way for me to ask who else was out there what was happening there?” Kayvon Beykpour – Co-Founder of Periscope
Periscope is in its infancy and ultimately may not be everything twitter is hoping for, but I believe there is something there. The convergence of how we are both informed and entertained is putting a strain on traditional media. All you need to do is look at someone who is currently in high-school, How will you get them to EVER tune in to the 6 O’clock news (if they even know what that is) when they saw that their friend tweeted a link to a bystander, who was streaming eye witness video of the Tornado sweeping through town ? With the added ability to intact with that person and carry on a conversation with their friends about what they are seeing. By 6pm …that’s old news !
If were to take a wild guess…in the not too distant future we may see some sort of Netflix type Periscope hybrid with a Twitter like comment and Interaction. You can watch all your favourite movies & TV shows, as well as live streams and interact with your friends while you do it. It will be like having your friends over with out needing to clean up your living room….
Submitted by: Kyle Turriff – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
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