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Social Media: What does the future look like?

24/05/2013

 

Since its birth in February 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has been the world’s most popular and profitable social media platform to date. Now, however, despite its nine year reign and over 1.1 billion users worldwide, with declining monthly users and a drop in its share price, has Facebook finally lost its cool?

While many speculate such a claim in unfounded, the figures suggest otherwise – in the past six months Facebook has lost million monthly users in the US and 2 million in the UK alone – a worrying sign for the social media giant.

Media specialists claim that the reason for Facebook’s demise lies with the fact that anyone who wants to sign up the world’s biggest social network has already done so, and with new social media platforms emerging on a weekly basis from Instagram to Tumblr to Pinterest and beyond, competition for users is rife.

For both brands and businesses, is there a new generation of social netwroks that better suit their needs? Twitter affords brands limitless interaction with clients and consumers, as well as the opportunity to use hashtags and paid promotions to cause either a global or national trend, while Facebook lends itself better to slow brand buliding – but is that the way the world is going now? With such limited word-count on Twitter, every letter matters and the nature of Twitter is far more immediate than any of its competitors. Take for example the recent collaboration between Twitter and Burberry to launch ‘Tweetalk’, which enabled people online to see the collections first before the models hit the runway.

Pinterest, on the other hand, has the advantage of ‘clickability’ meaning that brands can offer their followers an easy and immediate way of purchasing anything they’ve pinned – and are thus able to drive both business and sales through social media.

Another competitor – Vine – a mobile service that lets users capture and share short looping videos not dissimilar to Tweers, inspires huge amounts of creativity due to the brevity of the uploaded videos – all of which have to be six seconds or less.

And with the strength of global superstar Justin Timberlake behind the re-launch of MySpace, who knows what the future holds for social media?

 

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