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Conflicting Futures for Social Networks

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It is being said that major social networks like MySpace and Facebook, and perhaps social networks as we know them have reached their climaxes in terms of usage and monetization.

Om Malik says these networks are getting a "sanity check", citing new numbers from comScore:

Today there are numbers out from comScore that indicate plateauing growth for the big two — MySpace and Facebook — in the U.S. Last week, Revision3 canceled “SocialBrew,” an online video show dedicated to social networking. Meanwhile, Monster killed its Tickle social networking service (first reported in April by TechCrunch), following closely on the heels of CondeNast’s shuttering of Flip and Verizon’s decision to close up its virtually unknown network, which had managed to garner a mere 18,000 members. (Verizon has shifted its community to Facebook.)

But ReadWriteWeb refers to "The Consumer Internet Barometer", a report from the Conference Board that suggests the networks are growing everyday, and their futures aren’t so grim. "The next growth wave will be expanding and incorporating these networks into our business lives," says Lynn Franco, Director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

I think we’re already seeing this more than ever, with a good example being Colgate’s strategy (while not on MySpace of Facebook, granted), that Lisa McNeill discussed here.

For smaller companies, the social media marketing strategy can have a tremendous impact on their online success. And I don’t think they’re willing to fold their cards just yet.

Conflicting Futures for Social Networks
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  • http://www.ManagemyComments.com Paul Paradise

     

    I think the surge in social networks will reside given the fact that most depend on click through ads for funding. This will be a major issue for them as users are becoming more and more "blind" to PPC ads. The only way they can survive long term is to charge for their services. Or develop top-notch ad campaigns with major businesses as apposed to low-key click client ads.

    DevManiac

     

  • http://www.gogimon.com search tool

    I think that as long as interent use increases use in social networks will also increase. As far as thats concerned the sky is the limit. i do not feel that the Social Media Market has reached its peak

  • http://www.keywebdata.com Chris Lang

    I am a social bookmarking expert, but I use some networking tactics in my bookmarking tactics.

    I will tell you this is true, most social site users are not very apt to leave the social site they use. Digg, they stay there, discuss it there and if they disagree with you they will let you know. What they DO NOT do is leave the site for any reason.

    If these social site ads are click thru based, then that would be the problem right there as Paul pointed out. These sites have made themselves so sticky that now it actully is hurting them.

    As far as the constant voice of doom that they are all going to fail, I doubt that. Microsoft has the deep pockets to give Facebook away for free into the next century, if only as a thorn in Google’s side.

    MySpace, or SewerSpace as I like to call it will not go under. Too many people get laid thru MySpace. Hundreds of thousands of local bands get exposure thru MySpace. So many businesses have their entire marketing wrapped around MySpace. They all would gladly pay $3.95 a month to contine.

    Sex and money, people will pay for things that will get them these.

     

  • http://www.marketingminefield.co.uk Marketing Minefield

    It is a problem that these social networking sites are so sticky that users just won’t click on ads. However, longer term I think their future will be ok as they’re an excellent avenue for market research and eventually major brands will start to invest in CPM ads for branding purposes on a bigger scale.

    At the moment online advertising is all about accountability and cost per click ads but I feel this could change for larger companies… perhaps online advertising will ultimately be seen in the same light as TV ads where brand awareness is often the major goal (or at least it is in the UK)

  • http://www.hemroidshelp.com/ hemroids

    I believe that eventually social networks will hit a peak, and then the entire industry will be forced to take a creative leap. It will likely be that one or two of the larger networks will find new technology partnerships which will expand what social networking is able to do.

    Ultimately, the invent of the Google api for geo-tagging will open up new avenues and will likely allow social networks to complete more with search engines for localized goods and services.

  • http://www.keywebdata.com Chris Lang

    I think if anything we will see more social features roll out, more integration and less time on search engines and more time spent in social groups.

    Everyone is predicting a social marketing colapse rather than what I am predicting, which is an even deeper integration into our lives, businesses and more time spent by comercial entities. 

    Why do I say that? Because I have not spent one second promoting myself or my products on FaceBook but yet after looking deeper into my Analyics stats I got two sales of my infoproduct from there.

    That means I am going to start using Facebook much more to promote myself. Two sales and all I have done is make a few friends?

    When other marketers are starting to see conversions come from social sites and have figured out how to increase conversions by using them more effectively then social sites will have proved their worth.

    Most marketers have no idea how to use social sites, especially social bookmarking which is my expertise and niche. They think it is like a search engine where you just submit your own content and that will bring you backlinks. NO!

    Just submitting your own content is the worst thing you can do. Google can already see this as spam and is acting accordingly. Submitting high end content from other publishers and being a good social friend is what will bring you high powered friends and get you own content rated more highly.

  • http://www.crbuses.com used buses

    I, too believe that social networks are only going to expand and fill a bigger and bigger role on the ‘net. Social networking is really an extension of how people communicate, participate and be involved with each other in the communioty. The only difference is that it is done online.

  • http://www.hemroidshemorrhoids.com hemroids

    I think that eventually social networks will be going down, and then the entire internet "gurus" will be forced to take a real job. Maybe one or two networks will suvive, and that is because of the money invested in their development. But the way I see things, the more time passes, the more bullshit is appearing.

    Google will most certainly allow social networks to complete more with search engines for localized goods and services, and they will beat them all with time. Thus, Google will dominate this industry, that’s my 2cents.

  • http://www.skintagsolution.com Skin Tag Removal

    Social networks will only morph and grow into something more and more useful, accessible and instant in delivery time.

  • http://www.homeremedyhaven.com Home Remedies

    I agree with the last visitor – Social media and networking is going to become a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives.

  • http://www.answerblip.com/2008 answer archives

    Thanks for the great information about social networking Chris.

  • http://www.hemroids.us Hemroids.us

    Why does WPN support spam?

  • http://www.curehemroids.com/ Hemroids

    I think that social networking are still in the beginning. They will grow more and more in the future.

  • http://www.cureforhemroids.com Cure Hemroids

    Facebook have beaten myspace in therms of users, therefore we can say facebook is the big one on social networks now…

  • http://monetarytruths.blogspot.com/ SEO Tips

    Social networking sites such as Orkut will do well as google continuously is upto something in order to attract registered members.Others will not be consistent with their member growth.

  • http://hemroids.co.in hemroids

    social networks is the future, and still not all the people in the planet have access to internet.

  • http://www.dulyon.com/ Loose Gemstones

    The social networks will always be around, as they simply mimic human interaction, at a quicker and more efficient level.

  • http://treathemroids.com treat hemroids

    Social Networks are the future, the problem is, very few actually know how to pull it off.