The Life Cycle of Social Media
Unhinged freedom of expression is usually the cause of migration
Social media has become a very important part of our lives. Some people rely on it as a source of income, while others view it as something to catch up with the world on, view the news, find out how their friends are doing, etc.
The fact that they are an extremely important feature in modern society cannot be debated. Sure they may sometimes be a bit too over the top in terms of being extremely addictive and depressing at times, but overall, the world with social media is a slightly better one than the one without.
This doesn’t mean that every social media channel turns into a profitable venture, though. Very few websites have managed to get to the point they are now. These are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and various other platforms.
The thing is that some of them have managed to become a serious income source in the past, and are continuing to do so, while others are slowly dying out in their respective markets. I’ll mostly focus on the US market, as covering the whole world would be a bit harder.
So, let’s try with Facebook first.
Facebook’s rise and fall
Facebook was a website that brought international attention to itself, but it was first popularized in the United States. This was understandable, as that’s where it was first launched. Despite the fact that Facebook has almost everything a social media website would like to have, it has started to see its popularity decrease with the younger generation in the United States.
In the past, Facebook was largely perceived as a place where you could chat with your friends and play some online games. Very rarely was it perceived as something where people would constantly post pictures and update each other on where they were and what they were doing. That culture is much stronger in foreign countries, rather than in the US.
Facebook, in its prime, was nothing more than a messaging application as well as a place to play Flash Games.
However, it was still being used to spread information, post one’s own ideas about the world and generally make comments on anything a person would like. This mostly included young people that had the privilege of freedom to say anything they wanted, even if it was controversial.
Soon enough, the fun of Facebook was perceived as a threat by their parents, thus the massive influx of “Facebook moms and dads." This was a preventative measure from the parents to see what their children were up to online, but turned into an influx of new customers that stayed.
Nowadays, a typical Facebook user in the USA is a 35-plus-year-old person that mostly uses it as a source of information, or a place to play.
Instagram quickly became the refuge for all the young people looking for the freedom of expression, without having their parents constantly breathe down their necks.
Fortunately, though, Instagram quickly became one of the best platforms to conduct marketing on. Sure, Facebook has its own handy tools such as targeting the audience, but why waste time figuring it out when a company can fund an Instagram influencer to promote the products they already know the audience for?
Instagram quickly became an amazing tool for segregating people based on taste. For example, fashion and makeup companies knew exactly which influencers to choose in order to increase sales, and various other industries found different methods as well.
The ROI (return on investment) that companies made with influencers was much larger than simply making ads on Facebook.
However, Instagram quickly became oversaturated by parents again, which forced the young to find yet another alternative to express themselves freely on.
Despite the fact that many fled to a different platform, Instagram still remains in a much better position in the US than Facebook ever will.
Snapchat—The final destination so far
Snapchat is the final destination for America’s youth so far. Very few parents have entered this social media channel for reasons they did on previous platforms.
Therefore, it still remains as the only “untainted” platform, where young people can express themselves freely without having to answer their parents’ questions later on.
It may sound a bit weird or vague, but it seems like the life cycle of social media largely relies on the intrusion of parents on the privacy of their children.
Social media has always been a tool used most often by the young, and it will continue to be so. But considering that new parents are already pre-registered on these platforms, the life cycle could change drastically.