As much of a Goliath Facebook is, there’s always room for competition and turnover. Remember MySpace? Facebook may not be in danger of disappearing in 2014, but it looks like there are a new crop of social platforms that could start collecting users next year-especially among those looking for a hipper platform now that their parents and grandparents are routinely posting on Facebook.
So what are the most interesting and promising sites to come down the pike? Some are brand new and still in beta, some have been around a bit but looking stronger in the coming year. Here’s my shortlist to watch:
It’s all fine and well using social media to keep up with friends and learn about great deals from your favorite brands, but what if you’re looking for something…deeper? You may be a great candidate for Medium. Medium takes the core meaning of social media, sharing, and applies it to reading and writing. It acts as a platform to read articles and stories written by people around the world. Not only can you share your words and read those of other writers, you can fully collaborate on Medium as well. Medium believes “people create better together” https://medium.com/about. On Medium, you can utilize online peers as editors who provide you with feedback and new ideas while still leaving you in charge of your work. Finally, Medium allows you to find the right audience for the type of works you write. Posts get spread based on interest and engagement-allowing the best work to shine through. For those who believe content is king, Medium will be a great new source.
Pheed is the next level of social media for people who want to cut through all the less-than-engaging content (constant baby pics, candy crush statues updates, etc) and experience high quality writing, news and photography. “Pheeders” (the producers of the content) have the option of supplying it for free or may elect to charge for their content-either monthly or on a pay-per-view basis (http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2012/10/18/is-pheed-the-new-twitter/.) Pheed has so far attracted some big names as Pheeders (Miley Cyrus, for example, was an early adapter.)
Will the followers of celebrities and newsmakers pay to view what is considered better quality content than they can view for free? The level of quality and exclusiveness will have a lot to say in that decision. I look forward to seeing how Pheed takes off (or doesn’t) in 2014.
Do you thrive on others opinions when you are making a purchasing decision? Then welcome to Thumb. Thumb was created to help shoppers easily access opinions on products in the moment they need it. Thumb goes beyond your typical rating website- this platform allows users to snap a picture of the item they are having mixed feelings on and quickly crowd source feedback. Not sure if those shoes are amazing or over the top? (As a woman, I can vouch for the fact that we often can’t decide if we love or hate something…like, really often.) Snap a picture, upload it into Thumb and users will use the thumbs up or down option (and the optional comments) to let you know if you should go for it or not. Thumb is kind of like have a Magic 8 Ball made of lots of real people…perfect for you indecisive types ;)
Impossible is unique in that it’s a social media platform based on doing things for others out of the goodness of your heart. You in turn can also make “wishes” in hopes that others will want to help you out. This line of thinking comes after the huge popularity of Kickstarter but in a new way… wishes currently on the site include someone seeking skin advice from a dermatologist and another wisher looking for people to evangelize on his behalf about an online campaign about self-injury awareness. People also openly offer their services such as one user offering up his advice on startups and ecommerce sites looking to get their feet wet. Once people have been helped by others, they can publically thank each other on the site. People helping each other for the sake of helping each other? Will this one work? I’m quite enthusiastic to find out the answer as I believe it will speak to the current human condition in addition to social media trends. http://vimeo.com/78087137
With image sharing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest all the rage, it was only a matter of time before another fighter entered the arena. That new competitor is Mobli. Mobli allows you to share images like you would using other apps, but in this case they are subject and geo-targeted to allow you to see images that are most relevant to where you are (or want to be.) Mobli lists an example of this as being at a concert in terrible seats, but still being able to catch close-up glimpses of the band thanks to pics uploaded on to Mobli by other users who snagged better seats than you. This app is bound to do well in our visual driven world, but if you need further proof, you’ll find it in the infamous Carlos Slim reaching into his deep pockets and investing $60 Million into the company. Now that’s one hell of an endorsement (http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/06/instagram-competitor-mobli-gets-60m-from-carlos-slim-to-build-a-visual-search-engine/.)
With Christmas about to fly by and a new year following quickly in its tracks, the future is bright for social media. Another year, another countless list of possible ways to engage each other.
Happy Holidays Everyone!