It is very difficult to imagine a future scenario in which some of today’s most recognized social networks will not exist in the future.
A habit that certain social network users put to practice from time to time is to “kill them.” Whenever there is a publication, there is a decline in the number of active social network users or an increase of this number is lower than expected or the benefits of this platform are nonexistent, we tend to think that this social network “will die.”
It is true that new platforms appear frequently, some that are social networks and others that aren’t but have a strong social fabric. However, in my opinion, there are social networks that will not easily disappear in the short or medium term. Amongst those, I dare to include Facebook, which has a long life ahead of it, not only because of its increasing number of users (in the coming months there will be around two billion active users), but also because its use is already so established that it is difficult for us to think about the internet without thinking about Facebook, at least in certain regions of the world.
On the other hand, Twitter, although it has shown signs of fatigue, is without a doubt an established social network. It’s a place to share news and have discussions, like a “second screen” platform. Certainly its user growth has stalled and certain changes to its platform have failed to convince everyone, but I believe that the network of the little bird has enough satisfactory qualities to stick around for a long time to come, both on our computers and on our mobile devices.
The same is happening with Youtube, king of kings in terms of video platforms despite having lost some of its strength thanks to Facebook’s efforts to boost its own videos and live broadcasting. It continues to be a strong social network, especially because youtubers have appeared, individuals who are very influential over an important segment of the consumer population online. Let us not forget that this is the social network that will soon be setting up an online paid channel.
Regarding Google+, I continue to think that it is a bit meh. I include myself amongst the users, who use it with the mantra “it helps and strengthens the SEO,” but I hardly use it. Moreover, what is clear to me, and at the risk of being over the top, is that if it were to disappear some point in the near future, hardly anything would happen.
I can say very little regarding Instagram, one of the fastest growing social networks in the last few years and ideal for the show-off . It is easy to use, has good results and the generation of thousands of igers communities around the world make this social network a phenomenon that is very different from other social networks, but nonetheless very popular.
With regards to Linkedin, it seems undoubtable that it is considered the initial point of reference if we want to demonstrate our professional expertise or have a look at others’ profiles, whether it is to make professional contacts, recruit individuals or take part in group discussions. Last but not least, I have to mention Snapchat, created in 2011, which has had such an incredible growth in the last few years, with millions of users. I think it is too soon though to talk about its future.
So then, which social networks will we be using in 2030? All the aforementioned social networks, except for Snapchat and Google+ are very well established in their respective spheres and as I already pointed out, it would greatly surprise me if they were to disappear in the short or medium term. In a nutshell, I think as time goes on we will ultimately find ourselves using the same social networks.
But on the other hand, we cannot forget that the new social network user is incredibly demanding, a heavy user of mobile phones, fairly disloyal to brands and with a pretty unpredictable nature. These are the factors that already existing social networks ought to keep in mind, because perhaps the important thing is not to develop new means of communication, but to improve the user’s experience of social networks that are already at our disposal.
Do you think that there will be many changes to social networks in the coming years? How will our approach to consuming information and connecting with one another through digital mediums change?