Instagram is a juggernaut of a social networking app. In fact, it has more than one billion users. The app, which was initially created as a personal recreational tool, quickly expanded into a powerful marketing tool. Not only is it a thriving social media platform, but it has also changed how people interact with one another.
The advent of powerful in-phone cameras has shifted the focus of mobile apps from text to image and video. While the first iPhone launched in 2007, the first iPhone clone, the Samsung Galaxy S3, was introduced in 2010. This new wave of smartphones opened up the doors for social media to move from desktop to mobile. However, the biggest shift has been the human impulse to communicate and connect.
For example, in 2010, a Stanford graduate named Kevin Systrom created a social media website aimed at sharing photos and videos. Eventually, the site's popularity grew so large that it was purchased by Facebook. Despite this purchase, it has received plenty of criticism. There have been a few technological innovations, including the ability to upload and schedule posts, and the introduction of paid advertisements.
Aside from the obvious social network incarnations like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there are several new competitors popping up left and right. Among the lesser known is TikTok, which is on the rise since it was introduced in 2010 and boasts more than 332 million daily active users.
Other notable contenders include Tumblr, which is widely regarded as the leading social network for teens. The site features content geared towards young adults, as well as the capability to form online communities and participate in cultural dialogues. Another entrant to the social media space is Pinterest. Its visual pin board concept has gained a large following.
Social networks in general are inherently faddish. Although no one platform can do everything, there are several options that will eventually surpass their predecessors. Some may go the way of the dinosaurs, while others will continue to thrive.
While there are no guarantees, it is safe to say that the social media world is in for a change. As the industry evolves, more powerful companies will have a leg up over the competition. But, there are several other enlightened entities that have emerged to challenge these incumbents. If they can make a dent in the market share of their arch rivals, they might just be able to win back the throne of social media supremacy.
The evolution of social media is a complex subject, but the most important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a monopoly. As technology advances, social media platforms will need to figure out how to adapt to end users if they want to survive and prosper. Even the most established giants will have to grapple with the ever-changing demographics of their target audience. Ultimately, the social media future will be determined by the imaginations of its stakeholders.