What’s the Next Step in Social Media?

Many people first experienced the bright new world of social media when the word “Myspace” showed up in our vocabulary. Back in the day Myspace was the coolest way to connect with your friends and showcase your personality through profile pictures and the ubiquitous ‘About Me’ section.

As social media evolved, discovering new music became part of the mix, photos became more and more important, our profiles became customisable, and the social media site options opened up. Friends Reunited, Hi5, bebo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more recently, Pinterest and Instagram. They’ve all become part of our everyday lexicon. It’s difficult to imagine how you would plan a party or share your pictures with friends without them.

If we look at the trends taking place and how they evolve, we’ve seen the long form blog post turn into the ultra-short twitter update, and now, we’re seeing a growth in the image sharing side of social media with the introduction of Pinterest and Instagram. Upholding an active presence on all of the important social media sites takes time and dedication, so we’ve also seen a rise in apps and services aiming to make content sharing easier and to boost our reach as social broadcasting becomes an important part of the Internet.

And now we have to ask, what’s next for social media?

If we look at sites like Pinterest we can see a strong inclination to curate content; which is essentially the next step. Don’t innovate, aggregate. We already have enough social media networks that fulfil our needs, so the next step is to find a way to bring them all together. And then we need to find a way to make the information on them valuable.

Several sites have already attempted to do this with varying degrees of success. RebelMouse pulls together your Facebook and Twitter feeds to build your own “front page”. You’re now also able to add Instagram pictures, or use the site as a blogging platform.

Unless you’re a high profile public figure who is active on multiple platforms, then it’s difficult to see how this site could offer anything other than an aggregation of content which can be found elsewhere. It simply turns your Facebook and Twitter posts into something that more closely resembles Pinterest.

Phinkit is yet another platform which is aiming to make the content you’ve already published readily available and valuable to you, and the people around you. It aims to bring together people in a social setting to help to achieve their business goals. It combines the friends element of Facebook, with the followers of Twitter, with the connections from LinkedIn and finally the images from Pinterest.

It’s still in early beta stages, so we’ll have to wait to see if this could be the future of social media.