What is the worst social network ever invented

The end of social media? What the future of social networks will look like in 2020 and beyond

The year 2020 not only began a new decade, but also a new era of social media.

When thinking about the future, many people are immediately drawn to the imagination of holograms emerging from the screen of a cell phone or the transmission of smells through text messages.


And while things like that are fun to think about, they are ultimately just one thing: ideas.


It is much more important, however, to think about the Approach to social media marketing, who will need it in the future Reach and satisfy potential customers via social media.


Social media today

Social media began as an attempt to connect people - even when they weren't in the same room.


Two decades after the introduction of MySpace, Facebook and Co., however, we are experiencing a veritable loneliness epidemic.

(economist.com, 2018)


The graphic above shows that users who describe themselves as “unhappy” spend significantly more time on social media apps than those who consider themselves “happy”.


So it's easy to conclude that social media is taking a toll on our general happiness.


This can be due to the following reasons, among others:


(False) advertising en masse

Social networks were originally invented to connect with other people, no matter where you are, and to keep in touch with friends.

With the rise of social media platforms, however, companies, as well as the bright minds behind the platform itself, noticed how powerful a network can be. This led companies to start serving ads for businesses to get more sales.

While social networks know that they are user-oriented in order to maintain their target group and their influence, they also have to allow advertising in order to continue to be able to offer the platform itself with all its functions to its users.

As a result, we now have a social media landscape that not only contains advertising, but unfortunately also has to cope with a lot of dishonest or simply bad ads.

This in turn made platform users uncomfortable and longing for a more personal, social experience again.


Mass communication

What was once considered a means of networking with individual people has now become a tool of mass communication.


When writing the text of a social media post, many authors imagine a room full of people who will read the post. This results in a huge problem:


Today, people don't speak directly to people on social media. You speak to an entire audience - a so-called “audience”.


However, the situations in which we sit as a group in front of a screen and read a post together are rather rare.


Company> Human?

When you open Instagram, Facebook, or any other social network, the probability is very high that the first few posts will not come from any individual person. They come from brands, companies and organizations.


Of course this is not wrong. The real problem here is more the approach: Often the person-to-person aspect is neglected because a company is much more than a person.


Lack of authenticity

Last, but probably most importantly, many platforms experience a significant decline in their original authenticity.


Social media does it Incredibly easy to compare yourself to others. However, most people share only the best moments of their day and ignore negative experiences.


This may be pleasant, but this representation is also far from being realistic and makes it easier to feel uncomfortable if personal life is rather difficult at the moment.


Social media in the future

In the previous paragraphs we have stated 3 things:


  1. Social media doesn't make users "happy"
  2. Paid ads exceed native content (organic reach)
  3. Person-to-person conversations are in short supply


In the past few years we have had one Social media environment created that is no longer so socialhow it once was, due to the Misinterpretation of companies and people, in relation to the correct use of social media

Rather, it's like being in a big theater trying to get your message across while drowning in the noise of the crowds.

Now we're slowly starting to row back.

Many people have realized that there is a lack of real interaction and belonging in today's social media landscape.

We long to talk to real people and like-minded people - not impersonal brands that we have no emotional connection to.

This leads us to the only correct approach to social media for the future:


The individual is at the center of communication

After years - or even decades, if we include offline communication - full of unsegmented mass communication, we are now slowly beginning to pay more attention to the word “social” in social media.

As a counter-development to mass communication, social media will be about building personal connections, real relationships and bridges from one person to another.

Instead of building large, undifferentiated communities, a much more personal approach will be required to build a sustainable presence in the social media world of the future.

So if you are still concentrating on indicators such as reach or number of followers, then you are on the wrong track.

Once again, the quality of your followers and the return on investment (ROI), also known as the return on investment, is much more important than the number of likes or subscribers you have won, regardless of whether you are a global brand or a scalable startup.


The life cycle of a social network

Similar to the notorious product life cycle, historical data from the past decades of social media have shown that a pattern also emerges in social media marketing - the so-called social media life cycle!

Even if it sometimes seems as if a social network becomes successful overnight, a new social media platform goes through various phases from introduction to social death.

We created this diagram to help you understand this phenomenon:


These are the 5 stages that a social media platform goes through:


  1. Introductory phase: The platform is introduced to the users and they slowly begin to register its existence. Users invite other friends and use it as a communication tool.
  2. Growth phase: The platform is now starting to grow and adding new features. User registrations are increasing, as are the added functions. Early adopters gain influence on the platform and companies notice its potential (without yet knowing how to really use it).
  3. Hype phase: The rate of growth has now increased. At this stage there is such a stir in the network that more companies and marketers are taking notice. The network is used for commercial purposes.
  4. Maturity phase: The network is up to date. However, this also means that there is hardly any room for improvement. The rate of growth slows down, some users no longer use the service or are leaving the platform.
  5. Decline phase: More people leave the platform than register again. A famous example of this is the former success story MySpace or StudiVZ.



Social Media Life Cycle Phase: Early Maturity Phase

Instagram defines its mission as follows:

“We develop Instagram so that you can experience moments through pictures in real time. By creating an app to capture important moments, Instagram enables users to share them with each other and be part of those moments around the world. "

To put it in a nutshell: Instagram wants to connect people - well known or not - all over the world.

As we move away from a mass-market approach to messaging, we will Instagram - the definition of a mass communication platform - in the coming years likely to see a declineunless you rethink your strategy.

This development is also reflected in Instagram's engagement rates:

(SocialInsider Data, 2019)


Although the number of Instagram users is still increasing, the average engagement rate per post has dropped significantly since winter 2018!

Incidentally, this is exactly the period in which people increasingly began to share advertisements in the Instagram Feed, Stories and Explore.

To emphasize that, check out this statistic, which shows the expected advertising revenue from Instagram Ads and how the curve increases sharply from Q3 in 2018:

(Vox.com, 2019)


Average engagement rates on Instagram drop at the exact point in time when ad sales - and therefore ad placements - increase.

This means that the Growth of paid content versus organic content that seems to be pushing users off a platformwhat shows that organic content and hence real connections to real people are becoming increasingly important.



Social media life cycle phase: maturity phase

Since its introduction in February 2004, Facebook has been the definition of a social media platform and is attracting more users by the minute.

But what was once the key to success is no longer guaranteed today.

Together with the platform, Facebook's audience is also aging. More and more older people are using Facebook - and this also increasingly enter into private connections.  

The demographics already showed the development towards an older audience in 2019:

(Statista, 2019)


The key question is: are these users actually engaging with the posts?

After more than 16 years at the top, Facebook has faced falling engagement rates without attracting younger generations.

Features like built-in call-to-action buttons, post scheduling, precise targeting, and the powerful Insights tool have weakened Facebook's native character and tended to wither into a sales platform.

This led to a trend reversal.

Nowadays, people are skeptical of the brands on Facebook, as their sales character is generally perceived as a disruptive factor.

As a result, Facebook changed its mission.

Of "giving people the opportunity to build a community and bring the world closer together", To"To give people the opportunity (their message) to share and to open the world (content more accessible) and to make it more networked“, And thus brings direct one-to-one communication into focus as well as your Facebook groups as a prioritization of small (local) communities over mass communication.



Social media life cycle: hype phase

From a simple video platform to a gigantic video universe: YouTube launched several apps and services that are geared towards specific target groups and now even offers the option of renting or buying films online.


A strong focus was placed on a future-oriented mobile-first experience.

Indeed, video as a medium has a bright future ahead of it: By the end of 2020, around 80% of the content we consume online will be moving images! (Five Minute Marketing, 2019)

Thanks to this approach, people have chosen YouTube as a hodgepodge for their knowledge transfer and entertainment.


YouTube has given independent creatives the freedom to do their own thing and create videos the way they want.

As a result, a wealth of high quality content is shared on every imaginable topic at all times.

People respond by doing it Gradually switch from cable TV to YouTube videos.

Combined with the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, it holds great potential for virtually any business.

That's why YouTube already has the rails for one even more successful future placed.

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