Social Media – bigger, stronger, faster.
While Facebook and Twitter are the synonyms for the current day “social media”, one thing is for sure, trends, fads, popular apps – even those as successful as Facebook – come and go. Remember when My Space was “the only place to be online”!
Just ask a teenager, who is “Instagramming”, “Snap Chatting”, “Periscoping”…. about Facebook. They don’t want to be seen hanging out with their parents (or Grand Parents!). And if you’re not getting sick of Facebook deciding what you can and can’t see on your News-feed yet, I’m sure it’s just around the corner. The second post on my newsfeed is always a suggested post that is “sponsored”. I don’t want that. I know, it’s free, me and my eyeballs are the product that Facebook is selling to those advertisers. But like all services reliant on popularity, it’s lifespan will not be infinite.
Like all services that attract eyeballs, commercialism will never be far away – it’s well and truly entrenched with Facebook now of course. It detracts from the intitial attraction and so a move occurs. Likewise, neither will opportunities for all our businesses to promote, attract attention and add value (hopefully not noise!). And there are many services all falling under the banner of social media, that are attracting eyeballs.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to predict the downfall of Facebook just yet – and I’m sure it has many “re-inventions” left in it. But one thing is for sure, social and commercial interaction on line (Social Media) has democratized society and leveled the publishing playing field. This new form on connection, tribe building and communication is here to stay.
In 2016, new players, new apps and new services will rise to prominence. Twitter is morphing slowly – watch for more and more graphics, and heaven forbid, even longer messages.
Team collaboration tools combined with dramatically easy to use, real time video and messaging systems will continue to expose the weaknesses of email in the business world. With that, the lines between “personal social”, and “business social” will continue to blur. As an employee, your skills to demarcate and compartmentalize the two will be important. As an employer, your ability to harness the power of these tools and engage your employees as they use them have never been more important.
That’s an opportunity not a threat – business networks have always been important. Those with good ones, will still be valuable, just like always. You won’t need an exclusive Men’s club or Country Club membership to develop one though – you’ll just need to turn up, regularly and consistently add value (not noise) that others would miss if it was gone.
Just as images are now a vital component in online messaging and publishing, video will soon become the norm.
To me, 2016 looks like more of the same in social media and networking, only faster!