"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." Spoken like a truly tyrannical queen, Cersei Lannister offered this piece of advice to Ned Stark in the first season of the HBO series "Game Of Thrones." Ned might have lost his head, but that statement rings true for many things in life, even social media networks.
Emerging technologies and trends allow developers to create new networks with a boom of initial success. However, after the dust settles, people either forget these networks and allow them to fizzle out, or hold them high and fall in line to use them.
After the "Game Of Thrones" season three premier last week, I figured it was a pretty relevant way to make a comparison. Each network relates to a specific "Game of Thrones" character and the success they have achieved in battle for the Iron Throne, or the top social media platform.
Facebook- Tywin Lannister might not be king, but he's the law of the land. With his teenage nephew running the Seven Kingdoms and his daughter at the King's side, he controls everything. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might not be President, but he governs over 1.06 billion users. Zuckerberg has access to a plethora of personal user information. It's the one network that has the potential to influence global social change, and what you buy.
Twitter- Robb Stark, while powerful, is the dark horse riding up. After the murder of his father Ned, Robb rose in defiance against the Lannisters and waged a war against them. Twitter is at war with Facebook, and though it has fewer users, it's still rising in popularity and power. Used mostly by Internet marketing companies and news agencies, Twitter attempts to bring more value to social media. Robb wants to avenge his father's unwarranted death and end the war by putting a worthy man on the throne.
Google+- Tyrion Lannister tries to outwit the ones in power. However, as the dwarfish son of Tywin, Tyrion is constantly fighting for acceptance and is unfortunately cast away despite his noble efforts to save the kingdom. He continuously rides in the shadow of his family's name. Google+, while inventive, cannot rise above the shadow of Facebook. It's a clean-cut network with a lot of potential, but people don't want to accept it because of their loyalty to Facebook.
Tumblr- Daenerys Targaryen is beautiful and wild, but fierce nonetheless. Daenerys is always underestimated by her enemies, but grows more powerful every day. Once a blissful girl, Daenerys is growing into a smart queen ready to take the throne. She's not afraid to express herself. Tumblr might have a low volume of users, at approximately 50 million, but it continues to blossom. Recent changes have made the network more appealing to brands and it has a good chance of growing to Facebook's level.
Myspace- Jon Snow is still trying to reinvent himself. Known forever as Ned Stark's bastard son, Snow traveled to The Wall to escape judgment and become a brother of the Knight's Watch. Myspace recently revamped its entire website. Instead of attempting to obtain more users, Myspace decided to change itself this time around. With a focus on music and pictures, Myspace's new design is a true effort to take a different path in social media networking. It still has something to prove.