Darrin Baird, part of the Midphase tech support team, gives his prognosis for the future of social media…
Social media and Social networking is a fickle and fast changing field, especially for those of us using it as an advertising tool. So what would happen if we could peek into the future 40 or 50 years and see which network will still be around?
There are some obvious choices to look to for potential contenders. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
The folks at @hootsuite asked their followers what they thought on the subject and the results were about what you would expect. Some were riding the Facebook wagon and others followed Twitter.
The arguments for Facebook included the idea that their business strategy is steady and the number of new users it’s still attracting is not falling off. Both valid points, so long as the trends can keep up for another 40 or 50 years. Not many companies can live up to that, and social media sites haven’t had a long enough track record to place bets yet.
Twitter was cited as a key tool for businesses and individuals using it to promote themselves. Looking at the most recent tweets I’ve recieved it seems likely this is mostly a mass coupon distribution system. Even my local news station has nothing better to tell me than how the mattress shop down the street is giving away hot dogs and soda.
Conspicuously absent in the list of replies was Google+. Maybe that’s because people expect Google to drop Google+ by then. Like they did with Google Talk, Google Reader, and Google Buzz. Or maybe I didn’t wait long enough to see the circle of people using Google+ to voice their opinion.
Then there was option D: None of the above.
The majority of respondees seemed to think that none of the existing social media networks will be around in 50 years. I fall into this camp as well. While the existing leaders will probably still be around in the future I don’t see any one of them still being on top. More than likely two of them, if not all three of them, will merge at some point and then we’ll still have time for the resultant creation to fall into disfavor.
Social media and the Internet in general just changes too fast to judge now which pony you should put your money on. If a poll had been taken 50 years ago about anything in today’s world you can just about guarantee that none of the answers given would be applicable now.
So what does this mean to us? Where should I pour my social marketing time and resources? Unfortunately I’m not the one with that answer. Shake the magic eight ball and ask again in 40 years and I’ll give you a better guess. The only thing to do is to keep all of your accounts active. Keep Sharing, +1-ing, and Tweeting and you’ll be as well off as anyone else.
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