SOCIAL NETWORKS IN DECLINE AS CHAT APPS BEGIN TO TAKE OVER – There is no doubt that technology, within the social media spectrum, is moving at a blistering space. Just as we see a meteoric of social networks, such as Facebook, we also see their decline almost as fast.
In a recent study of over 5,000 U.S teenagers PiperJaffray noted in its findings that Facebook is in serious decline with less than 10% of the teenagers questioned putting Facebook as their favourite social network site.
Facebook is certainly not alone; YouTube, Twitter, Google +, Flickr and Tumblr are also showing a significant drop in user interest. The only one to show any type of growth is Pinterest and many feel that this is the case because it is fast and easy to use.
The new ‘kids on the block’ appear to be the growing number of Chat and Messaging Apps for Smartphones and Tablets, such as WhatsApp and Kik.
In the fight to keep up with what’s trendy there are rumours that Google is set to buy Whatsapp for a staggering $1 billion; however Google have played down these rumours and is believed to be developing its own Chat / Messaging App call Babel.
As the social network scene grows it is also morphing into almost minified version of its former self. Where once ‘blogging’ was the big thing this was taken over with ‘micro-blogging’ which then set the scene for developments of ‘social’ networks, such as Friendster, MySpace and the big boy Facebook. All now look as if the trend of decline is now firmly set in motion.
People are living increasingly faster lives and the on-going developments of Smartphones and Tablets allows them, with use of Apps, to keep in touch and informed, while on the move and this is something that the current offering of social networks will be taking on board in order to survive the next 10 years.
It wasn’t that long after Facebook’s disastrous stock market float (well disastrous for some anyway) that analysts announced that Facebook was likely to have a shelf life of just 8 years in its present form – it appears now that this was over exaggerated by almost half.
It is clear that today’s youth want more and they want it for their handheld devices, they want social networking and text messaging all-in-one, along with the ability to share files, photos and video – these new generation of apps are catering to their demands and unless the likes of Facebook can step up to the plate it could be obsolete within 2 or 3 years.
I have to admit I’m an old fart when it comes to technology. I still use the iPhone 3 and it’s in pristine condition; mainly for lack of use. As for Facebook; yes I have an account but I rarely interact with my friends and family on it, but rather use it as a tool to promote my articles.
I have never seen the point in Facebook in that I find it difficult to understand why people need to use it to announce their every move; right down to the colour of their underwear – I just think there are far more important things to do other than sitting on Facebook and looking at what others are doing.
As for the Smartphone Apps; let’s just say I don’t even have an iTunes account and the thought of loading apps just so people can tell me what they are up to every minute of the day simply does not interest me – again I have my own life to live and writing for Meebal is a FULL time job, trust me.
According to the news, the Asian market is the largest and fastest growing, in terms of app development and take-up by the public. This is not surprising considering that China alone has a population in excess of 1.3 billion people. One app developer, Tencent, with its WeChat now boasts over 400 million users – that’s more than Twitter; and others in the market also report strong take-up with tens of millions of users.
It doesn’t matter what type of online service you offer, from Meebal with its news and topical articles to Facebook with its social scene, the truth is that in order to survive we must be mobile. While nearly all websites and blogs are now Smartphone and Tablet responsive they must also provide a service or information that is easy and fast to use.
As I sit here and conclude it appears to be all about being in touch with one another in an environment that it easy and fast to use, I wonder where it will all end.
Sorry folks, but for now this old dinosaur is going to stick with his iPhone 3 with no messaging, video or photo apps – I simply don’t have the time to waste.