Nowadays, you have to be a 20-something with a long memory to recall the classics like Myspace in all their glory. Remember sharing your favourite song of the moment as well as listing your top friends, undoubtedly crushing someone’s soul into dust when they found out they’d dropped a spot? But who uses Myspace anymore? It’s gone and it’s not coming back. So what does the future of social media hold for our smartphones?
We’re well beyond that first day signing in and having Myspace Tom as our first social media pal to share our exploits with. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and a billion other social media sites and apps vying for our attention.
But what can we expect from social media in 2015? We’ll give you a clue – it involves submarines and African wildlife…
The Future of Social Media: Periscope vs Meerkat
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Why Tweet about something when you can show someone live video of what you’re seeing? Periscope and Meerkat are offering just that, and they’re promising to be one of the first real crazes of 2015.
Whether they can match the levels of the ice bucket challenge or the Harlem shake is yet to be seen, but they definitely have the potential. It’s a pretty simple premise – using your smartphone camera to broadcast your actions live to your online following. It’s not a new concept, but its portable delivery is offering a refreshing look.
The likes of Chatroulette, Omegle and other live stream services have long been available through our laptops, offering very dubious experiences if you choose to venture into unmoderated areas. But the power of a mobile service like this is mind blowing.
One moment you could be watching a celebrity preparing themselves back stage, the next, seeing a middle-aged randomer singing happy birthday to his pet chinchilla. Admittedly, not everything you’ll be seeing will be as informative as the five o’clock news, but it will be entertaining nonetheless.
The real value in Meercat and Periscope comes to current broadcasters – with reporters no longer needing a camera crew to showcase the latest happenings.
The Current Generation: Snapchat + Vine
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Sex scandals and bad jokes aside – Snapchat and Vine have brought social media to another level on our smartphones. From those hungover selfies posted to your already lengthy story (if you have a Snapchat story over 100 seconds by the way, we hate you) to those seven second clips of your dog falling over – Snapchat and Vine have changed the way we consume our media.
Back in the day, we could quite happily sit and watch a video that’s runtime was well in excess of 60 seconds. Now we won’t settle for anything more than seven second clips edited in a way to maximise laughs.
Similarly, our pictures are no longer left sitting in numerous servers across the planet, instead they now vanish into nothingness at a time of our choosing, apart from those sent to the rogue Snapchat screenshot taker (another person we hate).
Both are now legitimate ways for the lucky few to make six figure salaries as well – with advertisers willing to pay big bucks to target the younger demographic without paying any production costs. Simply put, these sites have helped turn social media from a way of keeping in-touch into a way of making some serious cash.
The Veterans: Facebook + Twitter
The social media graveyard is already fit to burst, with tombstones for Bebo, Myspace and Friendster already mourned over numerous times. So what’s kept the likes of Twitter and Facebook in the loop for so long? Especially considering the short lifespan that’s evident for every other social media website.
Both platforms have kept up with the times incredibly well, with each offering constant updates and numerous reasons to stick around. Facebook offers the most user-friendly way to share pictures and statuses, whilst Twitter offers the most concise and fastest way to share and receive news.
Both have huge online followings as well which is hard to understate, although it doesn’t make them completely infallible, case in point MySpace circa 2010. However, it would take an absolute disaster to see either one of these high-end sites toppled.
What’s the Future of Social Media?
Social media is an ever expanding and constantly evolving world in which we share our online lives. But the future of social media is looking more and more like it’s targeting our video and media needs, as opposed to our general musings, even though we’re happy to reach for some popcorn when we see a juicy Facebook rant!
But with the development of Periscope and Meerkat, it looks more likely now that we’ll be watching these rants unfold as they happen, rather than reading about them 15 minutes later…