What’s Next For Social Media? — Future of the Web

When social networking started to go mainstream, it seemed like it will go down the same path that search engine went after their juvenile phase. It seemed that Facebook will be the new Google of social networking and it will define what social media is and which direction it will head in.

But the market of social networking sites proved to be far more liberal. We had many niche sites and even competitors for Facebook in the form of Twitter, LinkedIn and the many other services that co-exist with Facebook and shape what social networking is today.

This nature of the market allowed for more room for innovation, complimenting or integrating with existing services rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, and a healthy environment where risk takers and start-ups can blossom.

Fragmentation

Where will you go?

Social media is currently a one-size-fit-all space in which people of all walks and interests share this space. Soon enough, with the advent of more customizable and private Social networks, people will start fragmenting while still wanting to maintain the public connection. Activists, obsessive hobbyists, and the like would favor the space where they can free front their identities and discuss their interests with like minded people. This will open the space for more secluded and niche social networks to spring up on platforms like Ning and grou.ps.

Professionalization

Set yourself apart

Social networks, since their inception, have been all about connecting, but those connections didn’t have any purpose in and of themselves beyond the personal drives. I connected to a “friend” because I’ve been to college with him, or he’s my brother in law; whatever the reason was, it was strictly personal.

Businesses didn’t really factor into people’s social media connections at all beyond the networking and social factor. This will change.

The creation of networks that include a group of specialized handpicked people who provide customized and reliable services will be invaluable. Think of a network of lawyers that will provide basic services and answer legal questions, or a network of designers that provide designing advice and serve as a freelance hub.

All those services existed but they will soon rise to prominence when our social media starts professionalizing beyond its current casual nature.

Quantification

Social Media Return on Investment

Businesses like statistics; they help them understand their position and scrutinize their strategy. As more and more businesses join in the fray of social media marketing, a parallel industry will start growing along side it, a statistics business. Services such as Trendrr, Sprout, Shoutlet and many others will gain momentum and in turn more business, just to make sense of the data and trends of social media. This will force marketing firms to complete their migration into the information age.

Given the current environment of mistrust that engulfs Facebook, the future of it being the biggest social network is being jeopardized and surely competitors will jump on the opportunity to take advantage of the circumstances. This will translate into a fiercer environment and will only be beneficial to us, the users. It will create the perfect environment for social networks to evolve beyond their casual nature into even more complex beasts.

So what do you feel is the next big thing in social media? Let us hear your thoughts.

Comments and Reactions

  • http://baybeeblog.blogspot.com/ Beirut

    More privacy breaching mixed with data sharing that might lead to information overload! However, the world now is like a little village, there are no boundaries to what we can learn!

  • http://www.awebguy.com Mark Aaron Murnahan

    I have been active in social networks since the 1990′s with Yahoo! and AOL. I had a Geocities site before Yahoo! purchased Geocities. I even met my wife and most of my closest friends by way of social networking. I met Peggy in 2000 and have been married since 2002. We have three kids and an Internet services company which was a merger of our two Internet services companies which both preceded graphical browsers. I guess I could be called a “life’r”, and maybe even a “grandpa”, if you will (although I am only 38 … yes, I said “only”). Yet, I still see many complex and fragile aspects of social media as it is today. There is a lot of static following the huge boom over the last couple years. I expect it to run a course where the static will die along with the weeding out of people hoping to get rich quick with this “new” thing that some of us have embraced for over a decade. I believe that many of us will still hold strong to the great values of our social networks and overcome the “blue pill” marketing days which hit our email. The strong will survive and the cream will always rise to the top.

    Thank you for the thought provoking question. I am your newest subscriber.

  • http://www.awebguy.com Mark Aaron Murnahan

    I have been active in social networks since the 1990's with Yahoo! and AOL. I had a Geocities site before Yahoo! purchased Geocities. I even met my wife and most of my closest friends by way of social networking. I met Peggy in 2000 and have been married since 2002. We have three kids and an Internet services company which was a merger of our two Internet services companies which both preceded graphical browsers. I guess I could be called a “life'r”, and maybe even a “grandpa”, if you will (although I am only 38 … yes, I said “only”). Yet, I still see many complex and fragile aspects of social media as it is today. There is a lot of static following the huge boom over the last couple years. I expect it to run a course where the static will die along with the weeding out of people hoping to get rich quick with this “new” thing that some of us have embraced for over a decade. I believe that many of us will still hold strong to the great values of our social networks and overcome the “blue pill” marketing days which hit our email. The strong will survive and the cream will always rise to the top.

    Thank you for the thought provoking question. I am your newest subscriber.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    More privacy breaching mixed with data sharing that might lead to information overload! However, the world now is like a little village, there are no boundaries to what we can learn!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Welcome :) Looking forward to keeping you hooked with our posts and the latest social media news, stories, jokes, controversies and more :)

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com M.Bamieh

    Thank you so much for that comment it really helps shed light on how things have changed in the last 2 decades. I agree with you, the way things are working on social media it is exactly like the second coming of the internet bubble. hopefully it wont be as damaging.

  • http://www.awebguy.com Mark Aaron Murnahan

    You are quite welcome, but somehow I feel rather old now. The whole second-coming thing almost made it sound like something that just one generation should not survive through. OK, fine, I will stick with the “grandpa” thing, but don't make me come and beat you with my cane, youngster. LOL

  • http://www.socialtrakr.com/2010/06/28/embrace-the-social-media-future/ Embrace the Social Media Future | Socialtrakr

    [...] rise having widespread avenues. But before plunging into the huge pool of social media there are a few things that each brand should [...]

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