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Social media is a new phenomenon that has changed the way that people communicate in a short period of time. You may be familiar with the most popular ones: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but there are many other new social media platforms that are coming to fruition and diversifying the playing field. There is no doubt that social media platforms are changing the ways in which people interact (DeMers, Jayson). Social media use and users are on the rise. 1 million new active mobile social users are added every day (Smith, Kit). Even more shocking, the percentage of American adults who use some form of social media has gone from 7% in 2005 to 65% in 2015 (Perrin, Andrew). As a result of this, social media options are expanding. With new social media channels, there seems to be a trend of channels that allow for convenience, improved ability to customize the content, sites that minimize the content for a more simplistic experience, and breaking into the business and consumerism sector.

New platforms develop every single day, but all center on the same basic premise: “Look what I can/am/will be doing!”, and mobile social media apps follow that exact same design. Some focus on the ability to intricately customize the things they share with their friends or fan base, like the app “Universe” which allows you to group together text, sounds, images, gifs, etc. to create a “Verse” which you then share with your friends, contacts or random other people on the app. I think this is very appealing to people who might not want to clog up a feed with individual posts each with text or a song or a video, creating less clutter for others while still offering a wide of variety of options to express one’s self.

In this day and age, many people are looking for convenience in their social media outlets. Many outlets have both computer and mobile platforms, while some only exist on mobile alone. Why turn on a computer, wait for it to boot, login and wait for the browser to open and load when you could whip out your mobile device and hop on social media right away? Mobile social media apps remove the constrictions of computers by offering an “on-the-go” way to connect with people that you know, and even with billions of other people you didn’t know! Social media has been linking people across the world together since its inception, and can now travel with you anywhere.

Talkshow is a great example of communicating in new and unique ways. For each situation, there is an outlet tailored for the occasion. With it, you can host a virtual chatroom about the topic of your choice, allowing for open discussion. Flipagram is another great example that is pushing the boundaries of social media. Like Instagram, it allows you to share photos and videos, but Flipagram also allows you to add music to them without copywriter infringement issues. This allows for more customization and expression, which many people appreciate (Dredge, Stuart). Ello is another new social media network designed specifically for “creators”, that allows for ample creativity and shareable content. With Ello, you can connect with other people who have similar taste, be inspired, and post your own creative talent to share with others!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the new app “Li.st”, which is only for sharing lists of things. While there are no restrictions on the types of lists, the format doesn’t allow for as much customization as an app like “Universe”. Everything must be a list format, which can be entertaining at first, but soon lose its excitement over a few weeks or months. There is also “Litsy”, an app that focuses only on sharing books or how far you’ve progressed in books with others. I think that these types of very specific apps might not end up becoming as popular as some other apps because of their restrictions. People would probably prefer to post all these things on one app instead of a bunch of different ones. Still, the niche kitsch of these apps might garner it some short term fame and if the developer is willing to listen to user feedback, could gather momentum to stay relevant for quite some time.

Shopping and making purchases are another outlet for a social media to be utilized as a business and offer a convenience to the user. Wanelo is a new social media group that defines itself as “the world biggest shopping mall” and allows users to access many different shopping sites all in one place, like a giant catalog. The profit incentive is evident, and the user saves time by only needing to use one site to find and research products. Also, the user can follow their own preferences in brands and companies that they like to purchase from. (DeMers, Jason).

Companies can benefit immensely from higher engagement and are beginning to engage with their customer base more via social media. According to data from 2016, 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels. With the younger generations expecting quick responses via social media, it is likely that companies and brands will be able to reach and talk to their customer base in new and exciting ways (Smith, Kit).

New social media sites are also breaking out from the personal use applications and are finding their way into the workplace and business sector. There are many aspects of large companies that can benefit immensely from having an effective way to share information and communicate within a team. Slideshare is one example of a social media platform that allows for public or private sharing of pdfs, PowerPoint presentations, and Word documents of all sorts.

Freshteam is another great app to use with a team. It allows messaging, chatting, jumping into voice calls, conference calls, and checking each other’s locations (Dredge, Stuart). Social media will continue to streamline the workplace and teams of all varieties. In theory, it could have a positive impact on productivity and workplace communication.

Social media allows a business to increase awareness and brand loyalty and it also allows them to get a lot of trafficking and search ranking, not to mention that social media platforms are also good for keeping up with competitors and seeing what they are doing which will give the advantage for a business to scope up their competition and try to get the upper hand and compare themselves to similar companies with similar audiences as well. Another advantage with business and social media interaction is the advantage of interaction gearing towards building relationships with not just the customer but other businesses as well. Social media comes to an advantage for customers to strike out their opinions good or bad which are great for the company to receive customer intake and feedback, as it can offer their insights that assist businesses improve products and services that will better help the clients and extend in loyalty to their brand.

As most of us may know businesses nowadays are using social media platforms to cause awareness and further build their brand as well as attract the consumers. An example of this being Snapchat, which is a well-known platform that lets you easily send pictures and short videos, view and create live stories globally and explore news in Discover to communicate with your friends and others. Snapchat is being used effectively by businesses especially ever since their launch of geo-filters companies like Starbucks, Red Robin, and even McDonalds are well known for having their own geo-filter, it can be great for business when they are using these trendy social media platforms because it allows them to reach a broader audience, whereas SlideShare and Linked in targets a more professional setting, Snapchat targets a more young and trendy audience. Another example of trendy social media platforms that are being well used by businesses are Facebook and Twitter, which are similar as they are both really good platforms that people visit regularly, companies like Taco Bell use the platform with “Twitter Fingers,” they don’t miss a beat when posting about their deals, some companies make a great use. To use these platforms with holiday specials and seasonal offers, social media platforms similar to these are in good use for the customers to tag their name and use hashtags which result in support as they receive a lot of increased traffic on their page.

All in all, I think we will see the next big social media outlets focus heavily on portability, customizability, simplicity, and professional and business applications. The ability to share everything at once with varying demographics offers a convenience that can’t be replicated with more simplistic, hyper-focused social media apps. It is likely that we will see a lot of the new social media channels compete with the most popular mobile social medias like Vine, Musical.ly, Dubsmash, Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube. With Vine giving up the ghost, will Instagram’s video feature replace it, or will a new challenger rise to the occasion? I look forward to seeing the direction that social media takes, and which one will become the next big hit!

References

DeMers, Jayson. “The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends Dominating 2016.” Forbes. 11 Nov. 2016, 1 Aug. 2016. Web.

Dredge, Stuart. “Coming to a Screen Near You… the 20 Best New Social Apps.” The Guardian. 13 Nov. 2016, 22 May. 2016. Web.

Perrin, Andrew. “Social Media Usage: 2005-2015.” Pew Research Center. 12 Nov. 2016, 8 Oct. 2015. Web.

Smith, Kit. “Marketing: 96 Amazing Social Media Statistics and Facts for 2016.” brandwatch.com. 13 Nov 2016, 7 March 2016. Web.

“10 Benefits of Social Media for Business.” Hootsuite Social Media Management Comments. N.p., 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

“Social Media for Business: 2016 Marketer’s Guide.” Business News Daily. N.p., 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

Holmes, Ryan. “Why Businesses Can’t Survive Without Social Media.” Fortune Why Businesses Cant Survive Without Social Media Comments. N.p., 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

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