Is social media dying? One word:
I am among most people who have been groomed into social media sites over the past few years. In its infancy it started as using a computer having an identity on ICQ or later on, Messenger. Advertising began as little ad bars along the top or sides of your message windows. Easy enough to ignore. Typing took a lot of focus!
Then Facebook boomed. There were no ads, a bit of freedom to share statuses and tidbits of your life. All you had to do was log in. Facebook started to allow links to websites, photos, and simple word based games that forced you to log on repeatedly to get further on. All of it exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. People staring at screens for hours on end, logging in hourly, hoping to connect.
Even as Twitter and Instagram grew as alternative options to Facebook, the freedom to just spend time with online friends soared. Someone out there realized that there was an untapped advertising market. So now as you scroll through your smartphone, trying to see what’s new with your friends, every third of fourth thing is an ad.
Much like the way movie theaters know that they can put 20 mins of commercials at the start of a film because they already have “bums in seats”. There was no where to look but directly in front of you. Now, we do it to ourselves. The amazing computer in your palm spewing advertisements when all you want to know is if your friend had a good birthday the day before.
Social media we once knew is dying. It is no longer “Social”. At some point, there will be something new and everyone will jump on board because of the lack of initial advertising. But it too will become a stream of commercials. We need to start calling it like it is:
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