Conflicting Futures for Social Networks

    June 14, 2008
    Chris Crum

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.