Right now the biggest name in social media is probably Instagram. Of course its older sister Facebook has more total users (as does its cousin WhatsApp), but if you are looking for a legit, mature platform that is in its prime, Instagram is the winner. And speaking of mature – did you know that Instagram is now 10 years old?
For that matter, Snapchat is now 9 years old and TikTok, the “hot new platform” for “young people” has been around in one form or another for six years! Remember when we used to get a “hot new social media platform” every week? Those days seem to be gone.
I think users finally suffered from “next big thing” fatigue, and at their core, human beings like the things they are comfortable with best. Nobody wants to have to start over every day.
This is something of a double edge for people who are looking to build their brands. On the one hand, we don’t have to learn a new platform as often. On the other hand, the more mature a platform becomes (we’re looking at you Mr. Zuckerberg), the more it starts to focus on the bottom line. IPOs do that to even the best of companies, and it can be sort of shocking when a social media platform that was built on “sharing” suddenly starts twisting your arm like a Brooklyn loan shark.
Strangely, the more familiar we become with social media, the more social media becomes familiar.
That whole “we’re the only game in town, so we’ll charge you whatever we like” attitude was a problem with everybody from radio to TV (especially TV) over the years, and it was only the onset of social media that fixed it. With that in mind, it may be time for us to start looking forward to the next sea change in media, some groundbreaking new method of reaching potential customers that acts as a shock to the system for the YouTubes and the Snapchats of the world.
What will that next big thing be? I can’t predict it, but I do look forward to it every time I see a traditional Facebook post that only reaches 5% of users (unless you boost it, of course – ow, my arm!). Whenever that next big thing arrives, I’m going to confirm that it can help my clients, then I’m going to put it to work.
It’s about time for the next big thing, and I can’t wait.