Most people in the tech industry, as well as avid consumers, marketers, and business owners, are always on the lookout for the next big thing.
In the social media world, we’ve seen a ton of developments over the past decade or so. Apps have become more friendly to mobile devices than desktops, content has become more visual and more immediate, and borderline gimmicky apps have risen to almost inexplicable heights of popularity. But I’d argue we haven’t really seen anything that’s genuinely disruptive.
“Disruption” has been one of the tech industry’s favorite buzzwords, used to describe any app, business, or even basic idea capable of changing the way people think about something.
Does that mean we’re overdue? Are we on the verge of the next major social media disruption? If so, what will it be, and when can we expect it?
Qualifying a Disruption
First, since the definition is so vague, let me explain what I’m personally referring to when I mention a “disruption.” To me, a disruptive social media technology would need to meet three criteria:
The Facebook Effect
One of the biggest factors holding back the possibility for disruption is what I call the “Facebook effect.” Facebook is undeniably the biggest influencer in the social media world; with more than one billion active users and a long, consistent history, Facebook has earned its reputation for being the dominant player in the social game.
Its users are satisfied and comfortable. As a result, many new platforms mimic standards that Facebook has already put into place, reducing the cutting-edge, unconventional thinking needed to produce a true disruption.
To make matters worse, Facebook itself stifles disruption to avoid unsettling its massive user base. It releases updates slowly and carefully, gradually acclimating users to new layouts and environments. Plus, when it does this, its contemporary platforms (like Twitter and Instagram) tend to follow suit.
Potential Launch Points
There are, however, a handful of potential “launch points” for new social media disruptions. These are opportunities for disruptions to emerge in the modern paradigm of social media, and my guess is when the next disruption occurs, it will come from one of these three areas:
Making a Guess
Social media remains one of the most integral, practical, and flexible channels for marketing and advertising, so it’s important to at least venture a guess about its future. It seems unlikely that we’ll see a major disruption anytime soon, but then again, these radical developments tend to spring up without much warning.
As users grow tired of the conventional form of social media interaction, and as new hardware like VR devices and smart home technology become more commonplace, we’ll likely reach a crossroads where new and existing social media leaders must change course. If that’s the case, we’ll likely see at least a major formatting change (or a revolutionary new platform) within the next five years.
This article was written by Jayson DeMers from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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