Today, it seems like we had social media since the beginning of time. We are so immersed in it. Most of us do not skip a day without being present. Actually, only 10 years ago, life was very different. The options were fewer and the scene was different.
Going back a little further, to 2003, we have to mention the foundation of Hi5. That is the beginning of social media, in my opinion. Of course, it took a while, before people across the world started to use it and depending on your location, you might have come across it in 2004 – 2005. It was a frenzy of glowing and sparkling colors and stickers. Also in 2003, MySpace was born and started gathering users, quickly rising in popularity. They had no idea, what was to become Facebook, created around the same social media baby years, in 2004. Actually Myspace was in talks with Facebook to buy it out, but did not agree on the price – Zuckerberg asked for $75 million.
In a couple of years, when Hi5 and Myspace were in full glory, Facebook started to capture their users, because it made no sense to them to be on more than one social network and it seemed Facebook was better. It offered more interaction between friends and that made it rise to 1.44 billion active users in 2006.
At the same time, a new social platform appeared, with an interesting twist. Twitter started amazing the world with its strategy of less being more and having a limitation on the length of the message, had its place online. It was different than Facebook, so they were both growing rapidly, while the old ones were struggling to retain users.
Back then, in the early days, people were dumping everything they had on social media. They went into a vacation and uploaded all their photos. The online interaction was so fun. And let’s not forget the apps that ran on Facebook. The walls were full of friends asking for help with their colorful online farm or next mob hit. Like, share and apps made Facebook a hit, gathering everyone.
The next wave came a few years later with 2 players, that still are in the main spotlight today: Snapchat and Instagram. The first one captured the very young audience, because of its mechanics of sharing self destructing images. Instagram however, was a place created for the sake of the photos, focused on posting and discovering good pictures. It grew rapidly with the help of its photo filters. Users would not just put anything here. It had to be worth it. They would spend time on taking a nice photo and also choose an appropriate filter.
Today all the 3 major players: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have extended their features, to include what their rivals had. Now they are focusing on augmented reality, filters, videos, stories. Everyone uses, at least one of them and we are not only seeing content from our friends. We follow news stations, celebrities, actors, singers, business people, coaches, sports teams, athletes, venues, bars, restaurants, bloggers, photographers and any other account that inspires us. With so many businesses and individuals having such a large and easy to reach audience, appeared and grew an incredible economy.
What someone posts, where someone uploads a picture can drive sales for you company, for your product or service. So companies are spending serious amounts on buying presence on these influencers social media streams. Also a bad review can hurt a lot, from the same reason: there are so many eyes that see it, so easily. That is why companies have extended their social media teams and are paying a lot of attention to their mentions in the space, so they can quickly respond and engage with users. It is an efficient method to create good impressions to the potential customers and convert them to paying customers.
Wrapping up, we are eager to see where this is going, what will the next wave be in social media.