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The Future of Social Media Relevance – Mobile, Niche, Meaning?
Posted on May 14th 2012
A friend of mine recently joined Facebook. He’s tech savvy, but had always resisted being part of the 900 million people around the world who are already on Facebook. He found the mobile applications for Facebook to be severely lacking as he was used to the immersive user experience on Flipboard, Path, Instagram and Twitter. Plus, he doesn’t see additional value with connecting with more brands on Facebook.
Could his experience be a sign of what social networks need to be mindful of in order to stay relevant?
Mobile is the future and will be the cornerstone of all our activities in the future- and I’m not just referring to the future of social media usage alone. Mobile payment solutions and Apple’s recent patent filing for iPhones to turn into universal remotes are just a peek at the future which our smartphone can promise.
Twitter has the help of robust third-party applications to keep the tweet flow going. Path has a beautiful user interface and Instagram has one which just works. Instagram didn’t see a need to have their own dedicated website- and yet it has no problems at attracting a larger user base
and getting sold for a billion dollars.
It is therefore a disappointment that Facebook’s mobile applications are currently not as robust as their desktop counterparts. It is a problem which Facebook can’t afford to ignore for long if it wants to remain the king of the social networking game in the future of social media- especially with the increase in penetration of smartphones around the world.
Path, Pinterest, Glancee, and Instagram have succeeded at being engaging through their niche features. Instagram’s popularity was attributed to its niche at not just being able to make photos look different with its filters- but also sharing it with a community which appreciates them equally.
You don’t need to attempt to have every social feature on the block to succeed. This is especially apparent in the future of social media. Sometimes, the most minimalistic offering can be the most innovative- and if they can fill an unmatched gap, you’re in business.
The truth is, our attention span on the internet is getting shorter and shorter- simply because we are continually exposed to a plethora of information every day.
I’m used to seeing a flurry of updates on my various social media profiles from brands which are touting their latest promotions, or asking me to submit my best vacation photo to win a holiday trip to the Caribbean. When was the last time you actually liked or followed a brand because they had meaningful value for you?
According to the Meaningful Brands research study in 2011, nearly 70% of consumers globally will not care if brands disappear overnight.
If you want to capture the attention, hearts, and minds of your audience, it is important to start thinking about meaningful value can add value to your customer’s life. That is the challenge brands and marketers would have to contend with in the future.
“I’m overwhelmed by the number of social media platforms now. I don’t need another one.”
That was a remark the very same friend made as he was looking at the mobile applications he had of various social media platforms. Will the future promise hope in helping us to cut the clutter and finding the platforms which will really matter? Eventually, only time can be the ultimate judge.