Hitting adolescence has its ups and downs – coming into your own and learning who you are and what your place is in the world being among the positives; thinking you’ve conquered and know it all being the in-hindsight drawback.
Having recently hit the tender yet confusing age of 12, Facebook is arguably experiencing similar growing pains.
Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has pioneered the way people interact with one another, and paved the way in terms of how people and businesses all over the world connect. It has also pioneered and shaped the emergence of social media as an industry, which in of itself shows no signs of slowing down.
Today, audiences utilize various social media outlets to educate themselves and engage with others. This has led to businesses spending an abundance of time and money to understand social media platforms and patterns, and learn the most effective ways to reach their target audiences.
These patterns have changed drastically over the past decade due to the ways in which people – particularly certain generations – choose to consume information. This has created a plethora of new opportunities for businesses willing to interact with their target audience in previously unconventional ways.
As one of social media’s pioneers, Facebook still carries a great deal of influence on social media users worldwide. However, other outlets seem to be gaining popularity among certain audiences, particularly millennials.
As the future leaders of the business world, this group calls the shots on the popularity of social media outlets. With massive global reach through online communities and strong influence power, the fate of any social media channel depends on the impression it makes with millennials.
Facebook offers a great way to present various events in timelines, and provide content in a way that best appeals to audiences interested in information sharing. The ability to produce lengthy posts is reminiscent to newspaper articles. As society has shifted to rely more and more on social media on a daily basis, Facebook has become a well-known place to share articles and/or large amounts of information.
Alternatively, those looking for quickly accessible information seem to gravitate more so towards outlets such as Twitter - where there is a strict character limit. Twitter has risen in popularity because it is so convenient and offers succinct summaries of the information the user is looking for.
The same idea applies to Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. These applications feature updates on recent news and/or trends that can be easily searched and are represented by images and/or videos. This trend of easily accessible information is likely to continue for quite some time, which has caused many other social media platforms to adapt by adding features to make the user experience as convenient as possible.
Some of the more prominent and fairly recent rises to fame include Periscope and Foursquare, which allow users to interact and share information online quicker than ever.
Periscope, in particular, is one of the most common upcoming trends we are now familiarizing with. Just like watching a live video blog, live streaming on periscope lets users follow their favorite celebrities, companies, or events in real-time, so they never miss a thing. While breach of privacy poses some concern with outlets like these, there is a vivid bright side: companies can utilize these outlets to potentially save money by exporting meetings on the online interface on a regular basis or hold conferences that clients, employees and/or the public can tune in to from anywhere in the world.
Understanding these changes in audiences’ attitudes and preferences will be significantly helpful in ensuring that you reach the people you want to reach- the better you understand what your audience wants, and how they want to receive information- the better your online relationship with them will be.