The Future and Social Networks
Social networking is an interesting concept in todays society – I guess like most people who use the internet it’s become part of my everyday life. The question i’ve been asking myself recently though is why? It seems that once everyone you know is a friend on facebook it somehow looses it’s appeal – anyone else with me on that?
In the early days part of the fun was finding people who you knew or had known in the past. Now that this novelty has worn off is there a point to FaceBook? I certainly don’t update my status 20 times a day like I did when the site was first launched.
Part of the problem with social networking is that brands like FaceBook and Twitter seem to own the concept. I said FaceBook and Twitter as though this were the only form of social networking – and to many this really is the case. Most people have heard of those brands and have an account on those websites ….. how many other networks do you regularly use? Are you part of the “technorati” for example? Has “pinterest” grabbed your attention? is there room for another brand or is the market now saturated? Is it even possible that people are starting to get board of the concept and look for the next new thing?
It seems to me that the primary function of social networking is marketing and in my view this will be short lived as internet users will begin to turn their back on brands such as FaceBook as the appeal starts to wear off and they slowly become desensitised to the promotional adverts. The idea of sponsored stories which is currently common place on FaceBook is certainly clever but do people want to use a website that consistently asks them to engage with and “like” new things?
In many ways the social networking boom could be compared with the .com boom in the late 1990’s; the .com bubble eventually burst and maybe this will also be true of the social networking phenomenon. I’m not sure if the recent FaceBook stock market floatation can be seen as a true indicator of the future for social networks but it certainly does make you wonder if social media has peaked – controversial? Let me know your views.