A friend of mine told me last Thursday evening (1st Oct) that I am ‘blundering my way through ‘Social Media‘. This was on the back of re-activating my Facebook account. I set up a profile back in 2007 but very rarely used the site ( as it was then, now more of a platform and really app driven via mobile, operating system in the works?).
I didn’t use the site because I found it odd that
a) people would post the most mundane things and
b) I didn’t like the fact people could ask me about ‘last night’ because they’d seen me in someone else’s post.
In short I hd a problem with the privacy which of course has been addressed, hence I thought I’d give it another go.
The blundering comes into play because I was linking Twitter and Instagram accounts. It gets complicated because I have my own twitter account (linked to my Facebook page) but I have another blog called Our Escape Route (plus Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account). OurEscapeRoute.com is a travel blog and really an experiment for me in content, traffic generation, social media, etc…anyway, i got into difficulties. This resulted in me posting ‘TEST TEST” on various accounts. Idiot. Another friend suggested I get a 13 year odd help. He’s probably right.
That did get me thinking, maybe I am already out of touch with social media, Already!!!
Its also interesting to think where the ‘social media’ progress will take us. Social media seems like an old term. Will messaging services make email defunct? I think yes, to some degree. Imagine you’re a customer, rather than a stream of emails wouldn’t you just rather have a conversation / dialogue with a business? surely thats much better than binary email. Before email thats what happened, telephone conversations, so why have we moved away from that?
Pushing messaging services forward to facilitate conversations with customers could be a material step forward for any business with customers. Maybe that should be ‘customer conversations’ rather than services in future.
Are we any where near the end of the line regards peer to peer recommendation / validations? No. Many businesses are working on AI (including www.Facebook.com) to try to predict what you might like / buy / watch etc. Typically you’re placed in to a ‘user group’ or ‘cluster’ into which the business believes you fit regards tastes / preferences etc with other customers they have. They get it wrong a lot of the time.
Facebook is in the drivers seat here as they know which friends you have, surely your actual friends give more away about your tastes than a generic user group? I suspect this hasn’t passed Facebook by.
It’s also interesting though that no ‘Social Media’ platforms have made any significant cash especially given the user base. Facebook is turning into a closed search function more and more so. But what of WhatsApp? (Facebook paid $19bn remember) no cash yet. Twitter, CEO troubles (Jack is back) poor growth, poor cash, Instagram, no cash to speak of we go on….
But look to China and WeChat, it;s becoming more than a message service. It’s a purchasing tool, organiser and loads more. Its also making money. Maybe the incumbents we’re used to aren’t progressing fast enough nor generating cash / profit but then if you’re a founder and have been paid, well lets say $50m would you be as motivated as before you had the cash? maybe not. Its also worth considering the now famous Alibaba, already larger than and growing faster than Ebay and Amazon combined. Maybe its the time the west looks east for progression ideas who I suggest are ahead int he utilisation of messaging, customer services and profit generation vs the west’s like for like businesses.