Saturday, 16 November 2013

Is niche networking a new trend?

Social technologies are pretty pervasive.

The Global Trends Team thinks that social media has  enormous stores of digital “stuff” that buries the gems in a deluge of the mundane, meaning that customers are losing that warm sense of community that social media has been providing.

Global Trends suggest that social media companies really need to renew their focus on what the customer wants from social media, or else their customers will migrate very quickly to places which do provide that sense of community. And apparently users are already moving to niche networks in order to create that community cosiness.

So, the latest Global Trends Team Briefing explores the idea of niche networking. They say that the "world of social networking may be crowded but it does not deter new entrants. With significant interest in networks such as Google+ and Pinterest it became obvious that the consumers wanted something different, more specific, and focused from social networks – and plenty of new players are trying to provide it".

They continue "One is SumZero, the world’s largest community of investment professionals from hedge funds, mutual funds, and private equity funds. Here more than 9,000 pre-screened professionals collaborate on a fully transparent platform. Another is Potluck, also known as “house party on the Internet,” designed for people wanting to “talk about cool things your friends find on the internet and hang out with people they know”. Other emerging niche networks include Quora, Quibb, Path, Best of All Worlds, Doximity and GovLoop. (Source: Fast Company)"

Global Trends are also looking for the next Facebook phenomenon. they report that Facebook has "1+ billion users and counting. Facebook is still growing but warned earlier this year that it might be losing “younger users” to “other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook.” Speculation is that if Facebook doesn’t reinvent itself, like other tech leaders such as Apple, Google and Yahoo, the heydays could be over sooner rather than later. Takeovers of Instagram and Onava suggest that Facebook may using acquisitions to “force back” users’ attention but it is an expensive and difficult strategy. Snapchat, the photo-messaging app, now boasts 350 million photo uploads daily, the same number as Facebook. WhatsApp, the messaging service with 300 million users, has been able to collect paid download and annual subscription revenue. In the tech industry “no change – no customer” is the rule. Will Facebook be able to keep up with startups like Snapchat and WhatsApp? (Source: BuzzFeed FWD, The Guardian,Business Insider)"

it's a very interesting area, social media. I personally would imagine that some type of social media aggregator will be the next big thing; something that makes it easy for us to post across networks and platforms, but hey I'm just a user, way down the South Pacific. What do I know?

References:
  • The Global Trends Team (November 2013). 10 Key Trends to Watch for 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2013 from http://www.globaltrends.com/monthly-briefings/60-monthly-briefings/198-10-key-trends-to-watch-for-2014-trends-1-to-5

Sam

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