Social Media is Declining and Yik Yak, Twitter and Myspace are Three Examples
David Robinson, a student at Liberty University, says that he enjoys social media. Last year, when Yik Yak was a popular social app on campus, he was a frequent user.
But last spring he saw many of his friends stop using the app because it was no longer anonymous. Despite this change Robertson still uses the app frequently because he thinks that it can help him make a Christian impact on people’s lives.
“I feel like I can help people with it. You will see a lot of people down on their luck or sad and I feel like I can help them out,” Robertson said. “It’s also a really great place to meet friends.”
Social media changes and evolves. Old social media sites tend to fall away and new ones take their place. Yik Yak, Twitter and Myspace are some examples of sites that may be trending downward or are already gone.
Harry Sova, assistant professor of strategic communication, said that he believes that the world is moving into the golden age of communication. He says that in the near future there will be a shift in the way we use the internet and social media in general resulting in the decline of social media as many people know it.
“We are seeing a trend toward private social nets,” said Sova. “Social media is constantly morphing.”
Jason Leverett, assistant professor of strategic communication, is less sure that social media is disappearing or going away- he thinks that it is adapting. Leverett points to Twitter as an example.
“I don’t think Twitter is dead, I don’t think Twitter is dying, I do think that Twitter possibly has peaked,” Leverett said. “If I had some suggestions for Twitter it would be to focus on business, politics, and journalism. I would not try to be a place for the common person to communicate with their friends,” Leverett said.
He said this because he believes that social media sites that rely on the common person often lose their novelty over time. He attributes both the decline of Yik Yak and the apparent peak of twitter to this loss of excitement.
“After a while the same joke gets old, and if you go on Yik Yak now you pretty much know what you are going to find,” said Leverett.
Twitter and Yik Yak are not the only two sites to see a change either. Other sites in the past have fallen when they failed to adapt to a new media world.
Myspace is a good example of this. In 2006 they had the highest value for a social media site. In 2008 however Facebook surpassed them for the top spot and Myspace never recovered. It continued to decline until it was sold for a heavy loss.
In an online article for the Huffington Post, Amy Lee writes about the decline of Myspace. In this article she talked to the creator of Myspace, Chris DeWolfe, who said that Myspace tried to do too much and couldn’t deliver at a high enough level.
Yik Yak followed the same path as Myspace and is paying for it now. It tried to adapt by changing the one thing that made it special, its anonymity.
At its highest point, Yik Yak was the third most frequently downloaded app on iOS. By 2016 it had fallen to 447 on the top downloads list, according to Business Insider.
Sova believes that all of this change and decline is perfectly normal for social media. He says these trends are predicable but not dangerous to social networking as a whole.
“It has all gotten too large and the novelty factor has worn off,” Sova said. “Social media will never go away, ever, but it is going to morph as people start to change.”