Social Media Went Private, Now it Goes Interest-Based…
The first social network I joined was Classmates.com in 2002 — I was trying to stalk someone (don’t judge, we’ve all done it).
Then I joined Myspace in 2003 because it was a music/band platform, and I was playing in a metal band at the time.
It was a good promo channel.
Sidenote: There were “Myspace Parties” being held in-real-life. Now people hook-up with, and get in strangers cars from the internet. How times have changed in 20 years!
Then Fi joined Facebook in 2007.
The rest fell soon after…
On March 20, 2019, I wrote that social networks were going goes private.
Next, they are going interest based.
The following were the most popular social networks by monthly active users 3 years on for that 2019 article:
-Facebook 2.9 billion monthly active users;
-Youtube 2.5 billion monthly active users;
-Instagram 1.4 billion monthly active users;
-TikTok 1 billion monthly active users;
-Pinterest 440 million monthly active users;
-Twitter 436 million monthly active users; and
-Reddit 430 million monthly active users.
All of these, besides TikTok and Reddit are connection based social networks.
Connection based social networks are what you know as the norm — you connect with “friends” and follow their updates.
TikTok and Reddit are the only ones that are an interest based social networks.
Interest based social networks are where you engage with content based on categories.
TikTok and Reddit are growing at 3–4x multiples faster than the rest (https://au.oberlo.com/statistics/fastest-growing-social-media-platforms)
My guess as to why is this:
The problem with connection based social networks is people you connected with 15 years ago change and so does their content.
They used to post photos of them vomiting, not they post pictures of their kids vomiting.
What was relevant then is no longer, so you disconnect with them.
With interest based social networks, algorithms feed you what you like and change based on your engagement — who you follow doesn’t matter.
For example, on TikTok and YouTube Shorts, rarely do your followers see your content, unless they engaged with it previously.
I predict we’ll see more-and-more of this in the future as it’s better for users and thus better for social networks (i.e. their advertisers).
Spotify already does a fantastic job at feeding you more of what you like once you have finished listing to what you wanted.
Tumblr was the same for images before its sale imploded it.
StumbleUpon did it for words — I wonder who will take that place in the future?