Facebook trumped by interest-based networks?
Facebook is unquestionably the giant in the world of social media. Many have, in a sense, declared it the winner, cornering consumers’ social media needs. And with its almost one billion users, they may just be correct.
On the other hand, new options are cropping up on the horizon, especially interest-based networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Thumb, Foodspotting and Fitocracy that may just give Facebook a run for its money, reported TechCrunch.com.
The figures prove social media is far from done. Pinterest hit 10 million monthly unique visitors in January, managing to pull in eight digits of monthly unique the quickest versus any other social media effort. In fact, Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway reported Pinterest matches Facebook’s growth five years ago.
Thumb, a site for fast opinions, is also hitting the high notes. Users may post questions, which usually generate more than 60 answers in under five minutes, making its average users come in second place to Facebook.
Put it all together and Facebook’s future is uncertain.
Interest-based social networks may be classified social media, but they greatly diverge from Facebook’s focus and approach. Pinterest, Thumb and Foodspottings, for example, allow users to congregate based on interests, while Facebook users are based on social relationships. Facebook deepens existing relationships, whereas the new crop of sites connect people with new relationships and permit users to express their interests. People make new connections with others based on similar interests, whether cars or ramen. These differences from Facebook are attracting new users in droves.
As social beings, our relations and interests are key to our selves. Daily life decisions, such as where to eat and what to buy, are based on these connections and values, meaning social media helps define our interaction with our world.
But just because these interest-based options are mushrooming does not mean they threaten Facebook’s success. Conversely, they may be advantageous to the social media giant’s progress. Facebook provides an incredible platform other applications can harness to drive their own growth. Pinterest, Instagram, Fab and a range of others have used Facebook’s Timeline API to attract users. These services expand and Facebook benefits in a positive cycle.
In the end, the answer to the winning network will most likely be both.