When we think of social media, the average user thinks of Facebook or Twitter.
It’s important to keep in mind, that Facebook is only the dominant company of the moment. Facebook represents a category that will remain, however their position will most likely change.
For example, look at the social media categories.
Social networking. Who’s the leader? Well, it’s Facebook. But that’s only one category within social media, and it’s big, it’s huge, it’s gigantic.
But then we have professional networking. Who’s the leader of that? LinkedIn.
And then, there’s geosocial marketing. And, of course, we’ve got companies like Foursquare.
And then, there is blogging, which is part of social media. And, of course, the category leader is WordPress.
And then, there’s microblogging, which, of course the category leader is Twitter.
And then, there’s video sharing. And while there are many, video sharing sites the category leader is YouTube.
So, what I’m really suggesting here is that as we look at categories of social media, the categories don’t change, they don’t go away. But there are new ones that are added. For example, a couple of years ago there wasn’t geosocial networking. Now, it is incredibly popular and regularly used amongst social media users.
So, the take away? There will continue to be new categories created with leaders, but the leaders can and will change. In the ‘90’s, Yahoo! was the leader of search and Yahoo! is a good example of the evolution of the web.
Think of Web 1.0, the key action was search and the experience was to give a user access to information. Yahoo! was the leader in that. So, if one wanted to find something, they used Yahoo!
Yahoo! looked like they were unbeatable and unstoppable, when it came to search – that is until a couple of young guys started a company called Google, and they did it differently. Suddenly, Google started leading the search category. And it looked like Google was going to be the gigantic dominator of all things Internet. And yet, Jeff Bercovici, from Forbes.com, wrote an article “For a World Where Facebook Is the new Internet.” He didn’t say Google’s the new Internet, they said Facebook’s the new Internet.
My point is that current leaders, no matter how big they are, can be shifted and changed. And here’s what changes them: shifts in technology. Right now, we’re not just going through changing technologies, we’re going through a period of rapid technological transformation, which means the game is changing. The game is changing rapidly for everyone. The playing field is, once again, being leveled.
Check-in later this week for Part 2.