I get the distinct impression certain pieces of the social media puzzle are dead and waiting for someone to inform them.
Web forums came and went. Too slow. Too much stuff. Too much work to produce content.
MySpace was… well, crap. And too narrowly focused.
Goolag+ never really got off the ground so, they aren’t really a good example.
TwitBot is over and has been replaced by Gab.Ai… which, frankly is somewhat sorry in it’s own right. In fairness, the whole express-yourself-in-140-characters-or-less nonsense never appealed to me. Maybe I’m too verbose.
FaceSpace is on the decline. Whether they know it or not. Their bad press and the user frustration of the algorithmic, jumbled feed is the nail in the coffin. And, the constant, tailored ad stream is irritating. However, there is not an easy replacement out there with an appealing format.
I don’t know what the next, big, thing is but, social media as a whole has ceased to hold our collective attention. They’ve played their hand and found it wanting. The problem with herding people is that people adapt. And when they become aware of a newfound activity to the degree that they put it on autopilot, they start to “look around” at their surroundings. And, as soon as that starts to happen, the smart ones start noticing the stuff that just isn’t right and they, in turn, point it out to the dimmer members of the herd.
That’s essentially what’s happening right now. FaceSpace has been herding “us”. And, we are accustomed, enough, to it that we are starting to see what it’s all about. It’s no longer shiny and new. The veneer is starting to wear in really unattractive ways. And it’s becoming apparent that it’s a cheapo, made-over, version of actual intellectual stimulation and human interaction. And, human beings, for all their faults, are still… human. And they need and desire human things. Things that AI will never be able to really provide.
Is it still a tool in the box? Sure. But, I predict that more and more people will begin to drift away from social media as a form of stand-alone entertainment, information, and social interaction. I think the privacy revelations will drive folks to dump the apps off their personal communication devices. Which in turn will make the 24/7, in your face, notifications stop. Which will decrease traffic volume to those sites. Which, should, allow people to equalize a bit and stop knee-jerking over everything they see, hear, and read.
In the end, I don’t think “social media”, per se, is going anywhere but I think the face of it is going to change and become more decentralized. I think people are going to spend more of their social media time reading and interacting on blogs such as the Yeoman Journal and, if bloggers are smart, they will take advantage of the plug-in technology that allows them to build out their URLs into a larger social media presence of their own.
The dream of the internet was collective. I think the future of the social media is tribal.