There was a time when the first phase of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and to some sort Instagram helped us connect with our dear ones in an atmosphere more centric on connecting. It was broadcast-focused and open network helping in revolutionizing the medium of communication when there was none to ponder over.
It was this time when people received that golden chance to create millions of audience across the world in order to get their voices heard. This was the time when advertisers sensed opportunities to mint through an audience which grew loyal to these sites. With their penetration in the rural areas as well, this seemed like an opportunity of a lifetime.
But is that valid now? Well, the majority of people nowadays believe that Social Media sites have divulged themselves from connections and focused more on playing to a platform of advertisers. In these times the idea of getting a million followers on Instagram or having a look at someone’s activity on Facebook is long gone. What started as an opinion sharing platform has delved into a platform where you bogged down by people and which has made people abandon posting or shying away from these sites. Instead, people have now switched on to more private conversations and lesser affiliations Which now brings in a question, bold enough to be asked, ‘Is Social and Media ready to split? Is the status quo set to change in testing times? Where will the Advertisers go?
Now abandoning the first phase of social sites means less scrolling time through Facebook posts and Instagram feeds and spending more time on posting their thoughts on closed conversations on Facebook Groups and chatting on Messenger. This means that now people have changed their thought process of replying to every confusing chat on Facebook and rather talking to people who actually matter. It means maintaining several small, interest-based Instagram accounts or Fiestas, rather than a single, Public-facing persona.
What does this shifting in the user posting behavior indicate? This indicates that these people are also shifting away from the type of broad-based algorithmic feeds which nowadays are packed with news and media content which they feel is not made for them. However, this behavior has tempted the social media franchises to part ways to separate social and Media paving ways for a split.
What are the trends in the field?
As has been the case with parting audiences, the social sites have also begun to customize their social from social media platforms. Snapchat has announced that it will split the chat function from its media portal. Facebook has also tested a content only news feed with Messenger being the separate chat platform. It also launched ‘Watch’- a video platform much like YouTube which contains highly produced content from publishers and Media partners. Instagram is also bringing in it’s another messaging function called Instagram Direct to direct its user to chat functions.
How will the time change for Publishers and Advertisers?
With social probably out of social media, publishers and advertisers would have to find their feet and adopt new distribution techniques to take advantage of this shift in user behavior. This means they will have to separate their strategy to be used while publishing on the media platforms as well as on the dedicated social platforms. This doesn’t mean it will be unethical to insert a content-based advertisement in the private chat forums. It means that the publishers would have to be more specific and creative in attracting the user amid changing times in the social 2.0.