October 27, 2016 Nik Livadas

The Evolution of Social Media

To stay informed and shop for services, do you carry an AM/FM Walkman or newspaper rolled up in your pocket? Obviously not. We’re on Twitter reading updates on the presidential election, keeping up with pumpkin picking photos on Facebook, and liking our friend’s Instagram of their latest journey. It is our job as marketers to adjust tactics to fit with societal norms, which means connecting with consumers where their attention is focused.

Identifying the Trend

We stood back from our iPhones just long enough to illustrate the growing complexity and popularity of these channels to interpret how social media is trending. We created the Evolution of Social Media infographic to outline 3 of the most crucial metrics used to measure the phenomenon of social media evolution: time, users, and features that offer more realistic experiences.

Time Passes

The timeline on the bottom shows when the most popular social channels were first launched, LiveJournal and Friendster being the first back in 2002. Since then, many other online social channels have sprouted, but only two three (#RIPVine) have been shut down. In order to utilize these complex platforms to grow your business, it’s not necessary to be familiar with the entire history of all 21 of these social media channels.

Tech Growth

Each social network in our timeline was sorted top to bottom by the realism and complexity of its platform features. Societal evolution correlates with our technological ability to communicate with each other with immediacy and accuracy. Technology has dramatically increased our opportunities to interact and share our experiences in real-time. As channels and platforms evolve, we’ve experienced revolutionary adoption rates. These breakthroughs in tech have made 1:Many communication viable. Live streaming and experiential 360 video sharing are where this is headed. Facebook has the most features and users, but others like Twitch are carving out the screen-streaming niche.

User Growth

Each social media bar grows in size based on the number of its users. As you can see, Facebook and YouTube have had the most success and popularity among users with 1.7 billion and 1 billion current users respectively. Facebook is constantly evolving and keeping up with current social media trends. Their developers know what types of features we will utilize before we even know it. YouTube was the first social media to bring streaming video sharing to the mainstream. They too have done well keeping up with the times and updating their features as social media evolves.

Facebook Launching Native Video Masks, Custom Reactions for Halloween https://t.co/s4O3QO4Or9 #socialmedia pic.twitter.com/XJJzFAeRgV

— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) October 28, 2016

Going Live

Live video is rising in popularity with the introduction of new features and platforms are now sharing of real-time experiences at scale. We’re striving to collapse distances by connecting with hyper-realistic and creatively augmented experiences. We can make predictions and brainstorm ideas for where the world of social media will take us next. Looping videos are no longer a specialty of Vine as Twitter rolls that into its platform entirely. People are continuing to watch billions of video loops on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook as well. One thing for certain is that looping videos are not going away. The number of users and businesses on these platforms is growing by the second and the opportunities for connections.

Businesses Tho?

Business tie-in capabilities are endless. Your business may find that your target market utilizes social channels that are more specialized to a specific feature such as location or live-video streaming. It is our job in digital marketing to map a social media action plan that includes sufficient resources applied to social media in order to benefit the growth of your business. The popularity and rise of the internet and mobile phones has created a society where social media thrives and we can focus on immediacy. It is becoming increasingly mainstream to document your everyday activities in real time on the internet. The future of social media is a never-ending topic. In a future Update, we’ll be discussing which social channels should be the most important to your small high-tech businesses.

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About Nik Livadas

As a well-rounded native, I’ve developed the acumen required to chief various tech-tribes — 1.0 & 2.0 web-firms, eCommerce shops, eLearning providers, and adaptive eduTech startups. Since 2001, I’ve helped savvy CEOs and CMOs from NYC to LA conceive and execute award-winning digital, automate action after analysis, and ultimately make an exit.