free web hit counter

Have we reached peak social media?


In the past couple of weeks the three social behemoths Facebook, Twitter and Snap have each taken a battering via both share price and negative press around stalling growth numbers. Facebook said it lost three million users in Europe, Twitter lost over a million tweeters and Snap (formerly Snapchat) suffered a user drop of 1.5 per cent. Have we reached peak social media?

Facebook lost nearly $120bn off its value after revealing growth has slowed in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Surely, a more nagging longer-term worry must be the decline in usage among teens and the rise of “Facebook nevers” who have never been, and never will be, on the network because their parents are and have “ruined it”.

The genie that cannot be put back into the bottle is our younger generations’ constant need for interaction with their friends

Twitter lost 20 per cent of its valuation. It blamed the user fall on efforts to delete fake accounts, saying this would continue to be the case, warning of further user “cleansing”. The truth is that outside football and television, where Twitter adds a richer real-time dimension to commentary, its polarised political bear pit and reading entrenched views in whatever echo chamber we inhabit has just got a bit boring.

A poor imitation

Snap had already taken a pounding, losing $1.3bn off its valuation earlier this year when Kylie Jenner asked her 25m followers casually: “does anyone else not open Snapchat any more?” She, like many users, was frustrated at yet another redesigqn. A much bigger problem for Snap long term being that Facebook’s shameless Instagram Stories imitation overtook its user numbers in just a year.

Hold on, you anti-social media naysayers. It’s easy to infer trends from a couple of statistics. This picture ignores wider trends: the rise of closed networks like WhatsApp, where parents can’t see what children are up to, the aforementioned Instagram Stories, and the newer phenomenon of online social gaming, most notably Fortnite (you saw the player dances at the World Cup), which is dizzily bewildering to most parents.

A more nagging longer-term worry must be the rise of “Facebook nevers” who have never been on the network because their parents are

The genie that cannot be put back into the bottle is our younger generations’ constant need for interaction with their friends and even strangers – via games. The latter may scare parents, but the answer is not to forbid or even tut, but try to understand. Video within Twitter and those damn Snap and Instagram camera filters will only grow further.

And, to remind you, Facebook still managed global growth. Perhaps social media in its first guise has indeed peaked after a decade, but now it will morph as it needs to attract a second generation of users and yes, make money.

@stefanohat





Source link