Thursday, August 3, 2017

Future of Social Media



I read an article in the Washington Post that very nearly caused a spit take. Out of all social media, consumers are happiest and most satisfied with Google+.

Hmmm.

This has been a change happening for a while. The common idea for social media has been public posts and viral content. It's the new frontier where anybody can do it, and anybody can get noticed. And that's true, to a certain extent.

In my experience, that idea about social media has slowly eroded in my anecdotal evidence. Most people I know keep things private on Facebook for personal reasons, but they also communicate with friends in secret groups. Most communication I see from friends on Facebook is either on Messenger or in one of these groups. On Twitter, there are those who I listen to, and those I interact with.

But still, Facebook has two billion users, and Twitter has over three-hundred million. Obviously, people should like them. So, why is Google+ higher?

This has a lot to do with the agenda of each social media's purpose. Twitter thrives off it's current ecosystem, of psuedo-libertarian, open to clashing ideologies. Disney wanted to buy Twitter last year, but backed off due to the ongoing harassment of users. Facebook wants to be the social hub, which saw the rise of fake news in the past year through it's news feed.

Google+ is interesting, because the reason people are satisfied is for the same reasons having a private Twitter or a secret group on Facebook works; it's sharing interests with interested people. Users don't have to add anyone they don't want to, resulting in a certain unwanted element engaging in discussions and leading to harassment.

Now, I don't know Google+'s harassment policy, but I imagine because they are the smallest, the least amount of losers are skulking about.

We're in an interesting time that hasn't existed before with an always-connected world. This has real life repercussions in terms of getting accepted into schools and jobs. The discussion of who owns the content we're publishing on these websites. Zombie data.

It even brings up what's the point of a blog like this today. Wouldn't it be better to post directly to Facebook or Twitter? The answer today wouldn't be the same a year or two ago. Users are realizing what happens when a big company pulls the rug underneath their feet, like YouTube does with copyright strikes and deleting channels, or suspending Twitter accounts, or enacting strange algorithmic properties on Facebook.

I don't know what the future holds, and that's exciting, especially when we see places like Facebook continue to grow