`The Fragmentation of Social Media

In some respects we have always used the internet as a way to communicate and to connect both on an interpersonal and a professional level. In the early days it was less structured, and more about just messaging without the creative add-on’s that we are used to with today’s platforms.

We have seen social media usage explode as these platforms have taken shape and gripped our daily adherence to our devices. Whether you use them for messaging or keeping up with the latest general news or stuff that’s more pertinent to your social-group the facts are we are spending more time on social media year on year as individuals and more people are taking up social media usage every year. Here are some of the stats put together by Hootsuite :

With active mobile social media users as a percentage of the total population sitting at 42%, we should continue to see the total number of social media users grow beyond the 3.5 billion people currently on these platforms.

For the purpose of this article we are interested in the average number of social media accounts per internet user. It is interesting that the number is as high as 8.9 accounts per user but bear in mind some accounts and platforms may be used more frequently than others. Then again we all like to try the new trendy kid on the block with the latest features.

As the number of social media users has grown over the years the number of different social media platforms that individuals are tapped into has also grown which has driven investment not only in the suite of features that individual platforms introduce but also the number of platforms that we have available to us.

Consider the table below that depicts the most widely used social media platforms available.

Social Media Sites July 2019 ranked by number of active users Source: Statista

Most people would be familiar with a few of the names that appear above, although a few of them differ in the manner in which content is delivered (e.g video, image, chat, etc). Most of the platforms cater to the contribution of general material. The user picks. On the other hand we have the likes of Linkedin, whcih has carved out a niche as a social media platform that connects professionals and organisations, whilst Discord is a platform built around gaming communities.

What many people may not be aware of is that there is a diverse group of social media platforms that have been developed to cater to specific interests and as social media usage has been growing we have seen them build often large and highly engaged communities around their specific themes. Some of the major ones include:

Tagged — Used mainly for friendship/dating with 27.5 million monthly visitors

Nextdoor — A platform built around connecting neighborhoods and communities with 79.4 million monthly visitors

Deviantart — For Artists and Art enthusiasts with 107.5 million monthly visitors.

Reverbnation — For musicians giving them a platform to share their music and sales. They have 4.1 million monthly visitors.

Goodreads — For Book lovers it includes Books and Book reviews with virtual reading groups and 83.7 million monthly visitors.

Twitch — Where gamer’s can live stream their competitions and form groups. Twitch has 625 million monthly visitors and was bought by Amazon.

Crunchyroll — For Anime lovers to stream, read and discuss anime related content among the 42.3 million monthly visitors.

MyHeritage — Genealogy based social media platform allowing the creation and sharing of family trees and pics. MyHeritage has 11.3 million monthly visitors.

With Social Media usage still growing and with the substantial number of users already on board it would be safe to expect the next stage of its growth to take place through differentiation and to seek the ongoing creation of communities with specific interests and needs. This would also align nicely with the commercial transformation of these platforms and further enhance the transition from social media to social commerce.

Further if we are to assume that the attention spans of users are becoming more transient and trends are continuously changing particularly for certain generations then opportunities abound for those that are prepared to make social media more adventurous and more engaging.

This is where The LoveChain comes in. The LoveChain is being developed as a social media platform dedicated to celebrating the people and things that we love. It helps that “love” is the number one hashtag in the world, it makes sense in light of all the different platforms mentioned above that “love” has its own dedicated platform. Integrating blockchain technology will allow users to create an immutable record of the person or things that they love. Users will be able to set up profiles to anything they love, this may include our pets, favourite sports teams, cars, anything that we hold dear.

At The LoveChain, we are also building a marketplace which is aimed at helping users celebrate their relationships or loves and currently has more than 50 merchants including Swarovski, Radisson Hotels, ASICS, Zchocolat and hundreds of products. Incorporating the latest rewards and payment solutions and giving users greater control over their data, The LoveChain will soon be carving out its own niche in the social media world.

Sources: Hootsuite digital report 2019, Crunchbase, influencermarketinghub.com

Founder of The Love Chain (Social Media & Marketplace) on the Blockchain

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