Reports released last week seem to show that although Facebook user numbers are at an all time high user engagement is slipping. Facebook’s aquisition of Instagram could be seen as an attempt to grab a chuck of a thriving community in fear of Facebook losing active memebers and photo uploads. Regardless of speculation over the condition of Facebook, there’s bad news for marketers on the horizon, as social media trends are leaning towards the anti-social.
Marketers have long been rubbing their hands together and thinking up ways to spend their unspent budget, as social media was supposed to offer them free and easy access to their audience. However, it seems that more and more people are opting to lock down their profiles, or turn towards the less social of the social networks.
This year’s biggest star, Pinterest, is a prime example of how anti-social social networking has become. While it is possible to follow your friends and build a social network, the website is used primarily as a personal tool to curate and establish individual tastes rather than interact with others. While a retailer may get lucky and see increased traffic to their site following a pin, they aren’t likely to be starting a dialogue with their users via the site.
Along a similar note, Path is another rising star which leans towards the genuine friendships over masses of acquintances trend, as they only allow users to befriend 150 people. As TechCrunch explains, the appeal of path is found in it’s intimacy and connections with real friends.
When Instgram was opened up to ‘Droid users and then bought by Facebook, many users abandoned ship as their closed community was suddenly very exposed.
Privacy issues are looming heavily in the air, as social network users have suddenly been made aware of the adverse affects of sharing too much via the Internet. From creepy stalker apps popping up, to potential employers asking for Facebook passwords, we’ve suddenly been made aware that our social skills could potentially land us in hot water. Only time will tell what this will mean for marketing in the social media sphere.