The rapid growth of social media has been amazing no question. If you recall MySpace when it was an IPO, the model for raising a social media network was established with some concrete definition. First Hollywood was called upon to show the public how they regularly stay in touch with each other. The younger generation jumped on board quickly and blew up the number of users. Shortly after those younger users, came the small businesses looking to attract customers. Then after business adopted social media, came the politicians. Even with that many people MySpace still struggled to cash in on advertising. The reason why is important to this very day.
MySpace went out and new social networks came in. Using nearly the same business model they went live one after the other. What developed was a wide range of social networking platforms that fall into two categories.
The first are those that profile users by accumulating tons of small pieces of information about the individual over a long time. The other is a platform designed for real time communication over a short period.
The first has longevity. Old posts are the bases of an ever evolving character development. It's like a job interview which never ends. You are in a room selling yourself in perpetuity, without any idea of what the end outcome can be. The second has engagement. These platforms offer a mechanism to stimulate and gauge a response. These are no doubt an attractive platform for a skilled salesperson.
We are now at a point where both models of social networking platforms have saturated users to the point that most major social media sites have indicated stagnate levels of read content, but increasing levels of newly generated content. We may be at the global social media saturation point.
The current difficulty Twitter is experiencing is an indication of this. What is interesting is that Twitter would fall into the category of the real time engagement platform, which seems to be the one with the most conversion possibility. However, in its current state, Twitter has become the leading news dissemination platform with financial problems. How can this be? A platform designed to engage users in real time became a generator of news feeds. I think the explanation enforces my feeling that social media is saturated and much of the message posts on those sites have not been submitted by average users. I am only saying what everybody is already been thinking! Yes, social media is driven by language recognition software like <a href="http://www.antlr.org/" target="_blank">http://www.antlr.org/</a> and professional trolls! There it is. Further, users have noticed that their two way communication does not fulfill their needs so they re-purpose social media into something else. In Twitter’s case it got re-purposed into an information portal. The platform now for the most part, generates news and users decide if it is of interest to read. This in effect kills the engagement model. What are you left with then? The answer is something, similar to Yahoo. To put the nail in the coffin, main stream media outlets have the lowest confidence levels ever in history among the public. If this trend continues, social media platforms will be stuck trying to hold traffic with content that the public has less and less interest in reading. It really comes at no surprise that social sites like Twitter are finding it hard to justify their value.
There is good news! Once Twitter finds an interested buyer, not doubt that it will get a new direction which will target a specific audience. Many of the current users may not be among that group and will fall back onto the other social platforms. What is going to happen is that the stagnation will vanish for a while and new content will get read once again. Yippie! A great opportunity may be just around the corner to get your product or services to the attention of the right customers. Don’t let is pass you by.