The Social Startup Bubble Is About To Burst, Says Forrester

    December 12, 2011
    Josh Wolford

If you’re looking to be the next big thing in social media, too bad says one analyst.

Forrester Research CEO George Colony, speaking at the LeWeb conference in Paris, identified social saturation as the main reason underlying his poor prognosis of the social web.

“Social is running out of hours. Social is also running out of people,” he said.

Is it true that people are encumbered with social networks? Social media overload, you might say? Not only that, but is it also true that there are no new markets for social startups to pursue? Have we reached a point of saturation?

Here are a couple of his slides (based on Forrester research) showing social adoption in various locations around the world. As you’ll see, it looks like there simply isn’t a lot of room for new social startups. Whether it’s Twitter & Facebook or Sina & Renren occupying people’s time – the point is that there are already so many social services available that we’ve hit a point where the market simply cannot take any more.

In urban areas of places like India and Russia, social adoption is nearly 100%. Even in the countries with the least social adoption on the graph, nearly 3/4 of the population is active on some sort of social site.

Forrester predicts that the social bubble that we are currently in will soon burst. And when it does, expect lesser social networks to fail:

We are in a bubble for social startups. This is going to sweep away some of the nonsense, like FourSquare. We are going to move to a post-social world that’s a little like the Web in the year 2000. A lot of companies launched, but they did not survive.

Ouch, Foursquare.

Apparently, this all leads way to a “post social world.” And these are the types of startups that will rule the landscape once the bubble bursts.

What do you think? Is there any room for more social media startups? As a population, do we even have time for more? Let us know in the comments.


Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf