The future of social networking
Social networking has evolved as a part of our life on the Internet – irrespective of the fact whether we are an active part of the world’s largest network. After years of hard-fought competition, Facebook and Twitter stand as undisputed leaders in the social networking industry. However, on the other hand, LinkedIn has created its own niche, while some other websites do keep coming up to capture our interest for short period of time. On the other hand, Google, the pioneers of Internet search and other Internet services have opted for a social networking product, which is slowly but surely creating a market for its own.
The interesting mix of ideas and innovations has led to the inevitable question: how would the whole phenomenon of social networking shape up in the near future. In order to gauge the future of social networking, we need to understand the direction which leading social networking websites are taking. The first trend that seems to be a clear winner is to collate usage data statistics into trends, so as to cash in on the content that is being discussed the most. While this enables users to stay updated with the latest buzz on the Internet, it also increases the probability of favourable content being shared further – a clear gain for the networking websites.
Although Facebook has been leading in terms of registered users, it is surprising how it has followed Google Plus in introducing features that has really transformed the social networking experience. The inclusion of video chatting, hot trends being part of the main stream and a better user experience are all features that were introduced by Google Plus.
However, the bigger picture is that social networking websites are now efficiently using content in order to influence its users into propagating them further. Thus, it can be easily predicted that content that we share are going to determine the quality of data or information around us.
The second factor that can be seen to be a future phenomenon for sure is the growth of niche social networking websites. While LinkedIn is a social networking website for professionals, Twitter is a mini-blogging website in its own standard. Similarly, more such websites could be expected to enter the market. As one would argue, niche sites would not be able to attract mass users, but the unique selling point for such websites is the exclusivity that they offer. In fact, the initial popularity of Facebook can be attributed to the exclusivity of its registration eligibility.
The third fact that has already been implemented to a large extent is the integration with other services on the Internet. While Google has integrated most of its services with Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter has also integrated with each other, with Facebook collaborating with Microsoft Bing search as well. However, as per the current trend, one may perceive it as the tip of the iceberg. In fact, several such associations can be expected in future which would help shape up the Internet as a network of individuals creating their own social circle – much like the outer world!
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