Where there used to be just MySpace (now a virtual online ghost town), dozens of hugely popular social media platforms crowd the marketplaces these days. All of them are striving to be the most coveted place for people to express their thoughts and share content on the Internet. Facebook may be the current undisputed champion in this category, but sites like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are generating more and more fierce interest from the general public.
Then there is Twitter, lagging a bit behind some stronger competitors despite being the preferred way for US President Donald Trump to speak to his constituents directly. The micro-blogging platform also doubled the maximum character limit to 280 in 2017 in a bid to generate more interest. Still, the company isn’t gaining the kind of viral interest that some of the newer and hipper social media offerings are commanding.
We could actually see an entirely different and unexpected player take center stage in the near future, one that begins to create the kind of buzz that ultimately revolutionizes the social media space and crowns itself a new king. Where the next new darling of social media will come from and what it will need to offer to trounce the competition is still unknown, but some experts predict augmented or virtual reality could play a significant role in shaping the future of all social platforms.
“Think: Sitting on your couch at home, then opening an app and taking a photo of yourself that makes it look like you’re in Egypt sitting on top of a pyramid,” suggests whyzze.com’s Misti Cain. “Or let’s say you’re out for a jog in your neighborhood park. With a simple touch of a button you’re able to take a video of yourself with zombies chasing you in the background. How’s that for #workoutmotivation?”
Tech giant Apple is already offering augmented/virtual reality features on the latest iPhone 8 and iPhone x, following up on similar advances made by Samsung and Google in the smart phone space. More people are turning away from laptops and desktop computers to access the Internet with phones and tablets. Virtual and Augmented reality is also moving away from relying on bulky, heavy equipment to bring the experience to everyday users with much smaller devices that can fit in your pocket.
Live video streaming is also becoming increasingly popular with the launches of Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. YouTube is still as popular as ever, but it also hasn’t changed much with the times. Sites like Vine take advantage of the shortening of the human attention span by only allowing quick-hit, short, looping videos to be featured on the unique platform. Facebook also now offers multiple features incorporating animated .gif files that also include just a small snippet of video. Any new social media platform hoping to attract the masses
simply must provide video-heavy features to users in order to hook them and keep them engaged.
The next trailblazing social media platform also has to cater to more millennial and Generation Z users, who are the real keys to popularizing anything new. Getting these younger folks hooked out of the gate is essential for any social media site that hopes to become a powerful trend. Exponential growth in the space has the social media market crowded with new players trying to claw their way to the top, and it will take a monumental effort by one of these entities to displace big hitters like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest. Though it still may be possible, it definitely won’t be easy.