6 Social Media Networks to Watch in 2012 [Plus Infographics]
Curiosity is a human trait that makes us want to discover what lies beyond the horizon, over the ocean or what can be seen and experienced from the top of a beckoning mountain.
It makes humans take risks that are both life threatening and potentially rewarding and life changing.
George Mallory, the English mountaineer and explorer who died in 1924 when attempting to be the first man to make the first ascent of Everest was famously quoted as replying to the question
“Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” with the retort “Because it’s there”
There is a sense of adventure and discovery that lies deep within all humanity, it is a burning passion that motivates and inspires us to strive and to leave our mark upon the world.
Some people say that others have all the talent and pioneering spirit.
Is making a difference only for the select few?
The reality is that there is a genius within all of us just waiting to be unleashed.
Social Media the Global Tribal Facilitator
Social media is spreading knowledge globally at the speed of a “Tweet” and provides us all with tools that can enable us to follow our dreams, if only we can capture and heighten that curiosity for knowledge that drives humans to succeed.
Stephen Fry the English actor and screenwriter and Twitter personality said that
“The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are “incurious”
If you are curious then social media and the web allows you to tap into global communities of interest and adventure points that can facilitate and ehance your skills, interests and passions.
Facebook and Twitter allow you to connect with your tribe, whether that is in New York, London or Lombok, that can provide stimulation and synergy that will surprise you with its breadth and reach and provide neuron muscle and connect you with your passionate energy that you may not have known you had.
The Social Media Universe
Perspective is hard to find unless you take the time to sit back, reflect and take the time to view a “Landscape” or “Universe” from a distance.
The larger the view the further back you have to stand to see the depth and breadth of the scenery and ecosystem.
The social media ecosystem is now so extensive and encompassing that I thought that it would be best to stand back and reflect on some significant events and evolutionary changes that are impacting how we communicate and connect.
Google decided in 2009 that it could no longer ignore the social web as it watched Facebook warp the web into a global community of 800 million plus. On June 28, 2011 Google Plus launched and became the fastest growing social network in history reaching 25 million users in less than 30 days. It continues to grow at over 600,000 users a day and is projected to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012 according to estimates by Paul Allen.
It is now both a personal and business social network after launching Google+ brand “pages” on November 7, 2011. Google plus enhanced the visual aspect of social networks by making its images significantly larger than the photos on Facebook. Facebook has since responded with a revamp of its design that allows for much larger images in its new “Timeline” for personal profiles.
This social network is a place to organise and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring and continues to reinforce the trending growth of an increasingly visual social web.
Pinterest has grown 4,000% in the last 6 months and is now threatening to break into the top 10 social networks with more than 4 million unique users.
Its users are extremely engaged, it keeps its users logged on for long periods of time and ranks as number three at 88.3 minutes per user per month behind Facebook and Tumblr respectively.
Tumblr is a multimedia rich microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their short form blog. It is about ease of use.
The numbers for this platform are too significant to ignore.
- 900% growth in the last 12 months
- 90 million users compared to only 10 million a year ago
- Addictive and highly engaged audience with 2% of its audience making up 43% of total visits
The engagement on Tumblr is only second to Facebook at an average of over 141 minutes per month per user.
Ease of use and making it simple to post images plays into a web that embraces high definition and addictive images.
Slideshare is the “YouTube of Presentations” and allows you to upload PowerPoint into globally accessed slideshow and again is a highly visual social media platform.
It flies below the radar because it is more about business content and is the world’s largest professional content sharing community. Here are some numbers
- It is one of the top 150 websites in the world
- 60 million visitors a month
- Has 500% more traffic from business owners than any other professional website
- 3 billion slide views per month
The highly visual nature of the site places it well in a social web that can’t get enough of images and visualization.
Source: Column Five
Facebook is a “must have” to keep tabs on, as its 800 million plus users means it is the defacto social network platform of choice for nearly one in two of the world’s web users.
What are four trends to watch and potential impacts to consider with Facebook in 2012?
- Its ecosystem with easy to install “apps” and burgeoning commerce and marketing power continue to attract business and marketers. Essentially you market on facebook first and then consider other platforms.
- The new emerging eCommerce paradigm of taking your shop “to the network” rather than driving visitors to your portal will reshape global business. “Omni Commerce” has truly arrived.
- Its new “Timeline” feature redesign with larger images and banner space offers a compelling visual anchor that raises its addiction powers to new levels.
- Facebook evolving into a more mature extension of your website design, function and content
The evolution of Facebook continues to be met by grass roots protest that rails against any change that rumbles people’s comfort zones. Despite this Facebook has no choice but to add and modify its features and functions to keep pace with Google+ and savvy upstarts which are a new generation social networks with no legacy baggage.
It is not time for Facebook to rest on its very large laurels or take its users for granted.
The seemingly slow evolution of Twitter frustrates some but its simplicity and immediacy as an open texting service on steroids continue to keep it top of mind in popular digital culture.
Its embedding in the new Apple iOS5 mobile operating system has stimulated growth and increased sign-ups by 300%.
The real point of interest to watch with Twitter in 2012 will be to see if it rolls out a self serving ad platform that monetizes its network or whether it will work out another way make its 200 million plus users a revenue machine rather than a money pit!