Is social media phasing out?

I read an article this week on Business Insider, where venture capitalist, Fred Wilson claimed that social media isn’t just fizzling out, but it’s already dead. He said it died in 2014, due to it’s lack of newness. “We still use them,” Wilson said, “but there isn’t much innovation here anymore.”

Now, this was interesting to me. I’ve always thought that social media sites were popping up out of nowhere very quickly. Not only that, but they all seemed to have something about them that was significantly different than the other.

According to Wilson, social media apps fizzled out and were replaced by messaging apps. These are apps specifically used to send messages to one another. It doesn’t involve comments or sharing or posting. It’s all specific communication between users. WhatsApp is a good example Wilson provided, saying that it completely replaced Facebook messaging.

Wilson even considers Snapchat a messaging app and not a social media app. He even claims that it replaced Instagram. This is a very interesting point he makes because Snapchat, to most, is considered social media. Not only that, but Instagram is still very popular in most social realms.

I both agree and disagree with Wilson. I disagree that messaging apps are any different social media apps. They’re the same thing. Social media platforms, as defined by the dictionary, are “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” Don’t both Facebook and Snapchat both accomplish those things? Yes. And because I don’t agree that messaging apps are any different than social media apps, I don’t believe that social media is completely dead yet.

I do agree with Wilson, however, that social media is fizzling out. I don’t necessarily think that it will completely go away, but it will definitely fade into the background a little bit. Just like every other technology phase, I think social media will have it’s glory days for awhile, and then be something that no one’s really thinks much about anymore.

The telephone, for instance — it was a use deal when it came out, no one ever thought anything could be any cooler, but then the cell phone came out. Now, hardly anyone has a landline. Yes, people still talk on their cellphones the way they would on a landline, but most people would rather text or communicate via social media.

Just like the cellphone, a new technology will come around and social media will not be as big of a deal as it once was. It’s just how things are in our day and age. Things are always and forever will be changing.

To read the full article with Fred Wilson, click here.



A visit from social media guru, Kimberly Stern

Last week, my Social Media Management class received a visit from Colorado State University’s Social Media Director, Kimberly Stern. We learned how spontaneous the field can be and we also learned the importance of social media policy within organizations.

I was actually surprised by the spontaneity of the field. I mean, I understand that social media posting correlates a lot with current events and what’s going on within a community, but I figured there would most certainly be a monthly line up of the frequency of postings.

Turns out — I was wrong. Stern even said something along the lines of CSU social media not even having a plan until a few minutes before a posting. Crazy, but really cool. It shows how social media has revolutionized relationships between an organization and it’s community. Now, instead of waiting a few days to here about something in the paper, we know about it as it’s happening.

Policy seems to be the biggest and most important factor for CSU social media. Stern continued to stress the importance of the CSU community registering their social media accounts. “It is required,” she echoed. Why? Because it is crucial to the upkeep of CSU’s image.

When someone register’s their CSU account, they are agreeing to CSU’s social media policy and guidelines. A social media policy keeps all of an organizations social media accounts in line. It must be followed by all social media accounts and promotes responsible social media usage for all account users.

Social media guidelines are used in a more casual way. As we learned in class, guidelines are typically there to help train users on social media usage, teach them how to resolve conflict, and use social media safely.

Stern says that there is a lot of trust within the CSU community, assuming they will follow the policy and use social media properly to positively represent CSU. However, Stern does admit that they do monitor all social media accounts very carefully, and every once in awhile there have been some slip-ups. It’s rare, but it does happen.

I guess the biggest take away from Stern’s visit is that given the crazy spontaneity that comes along with social media integration these days, organizations are the most successfully represented when following a specific policy that promotes proper social media usage.