How Will Social Media Evolve Beyond Facebook?

In an article published on the New York Times website on Monday, November 18, 2013, titled “Facebook, Still Dominant, Strives to Keep Cachet”, Jenna Wortham, Vindu Goel and Nicole Perlroth report on some strategic cracks in this business’ barriers to entry from competitors. The most dangerous of these include:

  • a Facebook App developer community less inclined to build new Facebook analytics hooks into their systems
  • an apparent popular dedication, on the part of early stage businesses in the social media sector, to look “long and hard” at any acquisition offers from Facebook. The most recent example of this attitude is SnapChat’s decision not to accept an acquisition offer from Facebook
  • apparent waning interest in Facebook on the part of a very important segment of its consumers — young people of high school age

So is there room for social media to evolve beyond Facebook? If yes, then how?

Certainly Facebook, or a “next generation” Facebook-like service could do a better job of balancing the privacy benefit many of its core consumers value, with the inevitable access advertisers, and business consumers, will require to the larger Facebook “community” of consumers.

Facebook’s efforts to retain consumers, while providing advertisers with greater accessibility to the wider Facebook user community with, for example, its own version of Twitter’s hashtag, have been clumsy. I have a business page on Facebook. I’ve made consistent use of the hashtag feature since it was debuted, but I’m not seeing any positive results from it. But it would be hard for me to see these results, anyways, as Facebook doesn’t provide any analytic data, whatsoever, until a site can magnetize 30 “likes”.

A feature like Google’s Analytics product, which is free to anyone with a Google account and a website, would certainly be welcome, as it would be useful, to business consumers, as they try to improve their exposure to the universe of Facebook consumers in order to collect the required 30 “likes”.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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