Is the Golden Era of Social Media gone?

Will we look back at this time and talk fondly of the ‘golden era’ of social media….?

I write this as we have just heard that Twitter have announced that they are laying off up to 336 people, 8% of their workforce. When the most beneficial of all the social media platforms has reached this point it makes you wonder.

Like every other business they must make money!

Roll forward just 5 years. Will we be saying..

“It was an innocent time when for free we all opened personal accounts on Facebook, we connected with friends, shared and uploaded our pictures. It was pure, we were able to communicate and voice our opinions without interference.

Businesses jumped in and opened accounts for free and publicised their wares.

It was really enjoyable and effective with all of us being able to see content that we wanted to.

Unfortunately it all changed when it became big business (like every other business they had to make money!) and now it is just like a huge advertising platform, which no one bothers using any more because we stopped seeing the content that we wanted.

And what about Twitter? …We had such fun opening accounts for free and following who we wanted and them in turn following us and interacting as much as we wanted.

Eventually they wanted all of our personal details for advertising purposes and business accounts became different to personal accounts.

Of course the ‘free ride‘ had to finish at some point — we were naive to think it could continue the way it was.

Looking back, considering all of the benefits I enjoyed I think I would have been quite happy to pay a subscription instead of seeing it ruined the way it has been.

It’s a pity it’s gone.

Do you remember when LinkedIn was free and you could connect and post content until the cows came home, all for free!

It’s ironic that it’s half as effective now as it was when it was free!

As for Instagram ..we had great fun posting fab photos and interacting and now unfortunately its full of adverts and corporates posting commercial pics that make our skin crawl!

As for things like Foursquare, Google+, Snapchat, Pinterest andPeriscope …. we used them all for about 6 months and then we got bored.

As for social media taking over from newspapers and traditional media –what were we thinking?

Did we really want a world where no one was paying journalists to investigate, where great writers and columnists could not make a living, so they stopped … Crazy!

It did seem like this would happen for a while because we stupidly thought that we could get everything for free — when did that ever make sense?

Inevitably Apple, Microsoft and Google have mopped up everything online and the lesson that there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch‘ has come true.”

I miss those days and wish I could ‘tweet’ again one last time.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

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