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What Will Replace Facebook? New Platforms and Apps

Updated on August 16, 2013
We will still be using social networking platforms to communicate, it will just be replacements for Facebook.
We will still be using social networking platforms to communicate, it will just be replacements for Facebook. | Source

Facebook has been the giant of social media for about a decade. For awhile nearly every person, group, politician, organization and business had a Facebook page.

But times are changing. Facebook is losing popularity for many reasons including privacy concerns, focus on ads and pay-to-promote status updates.

But what will replace Facebook? Here are the hottest platforms and apps poised to siphon users away from Facebook.

Google+

Google+ is Google's answer to Facebook.

The social media platform has many of the same features users are used to on Facebook.

You can add friends, post articles or pitctures and join groups with similar interests.

The navigation is tricky in some respects and so the learning curve may be a bit steep. Using the tutorials and the help button can make the experience easier for new users.

What Google+ does well that Facebook does not is making it easier to compartmentalize your friends into different groups--or as Google calls them, circles.

Once a friend is in a circle, you can target specific updates, articles, or pictures just for that group.

Google's interface makes it especially good for businesses. And because anyone can follow anybody (no friend requests) there is less maintenance to a page.

If someone follows you, you can chooses to add them to your circle or ignore it and they will only see updates you make public.

Google+ also offers video chatting which can make it great platform for a small business meeting.

Finally, users can share written content with specific users and groups, allowing for a better marketing experience overall.

The interface allows Google+ to easily adapt for a recreational user or someone marketing their business or work---all without the intrusion or paid-to-promote aspect of Facebook.

Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that users can fill with their favorite hobbies, ideas and recipes.
Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that users can fill with their favorite hobbies, ideas and recipes. | Source

Pinterest

Pinterest's biggest appeal over Facebook is its visual impressiveness.

If you've never used Pinterest, picture a large bulletin board, or even a room full of large bulletin boards with bright colors and beautiful pictures of food, pets, clothing, flowers, shoes and just about everything else you can think of that can be talked about or marketed through pictures.

Users can pin pictures that they find interesting or useful to their own personal page.

The better the picture (or the more interesting) the more likely it is to be looked at, liked and repinned by other users--thus spreading your idea or product around.

According to Justin Smith of BloomReach, Pinterest user spending gives an advertiser about 60% more return than Facebook does. Also, Pinterest users see more images during the same span of time as Facebook.

The downside is that Pinterest posts can get lost in the more popular categories, just due to the sheer volume of information for a reader to peruse on any given page.

Pinterest has made recipe, product and meme sharing more targeted and therefor more successful than Facebook.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send quick messages and pictures that expire a few moments after the user sends them.

In an interview on the Colbert Report, the Snapchat founders noted that it offers a more real-world interaction among users, trying to disengage technology usage with the fact that anything that is said or done online is on your permanent record.

While Facebook answered back with its own Poke app which basically does the same thing, users seem to not care, be unaware, or are purposefully moving away from Facebook by choosing Snapchat.

According to Rachel Metz of MIT Technology Review, users distrust in Facebook and its collection of personal information and data has led to the embrace of this new technology of expiring messages.

While this App has a lot of appeal for private use, usage for broader marketing and monetization has not been explored at this time.

Might this be a place for the targeted, ten second ad?

Facebook is not as popular on mobile devices as other apps.
Facebook is not as popular on mobile devices as other apps. | Source

WhatsApp

While WhatsApp may appear to be a more likely competitor for your text messaging providers rather than Facebook, it has some implications for Facebook users.

WhatsApp is basically a free phone app that allows you send text messages and pictures to other WhatsApp users for free.

Just like its response to Snapchat, Facebook launched Facebook messanger to try to regain some of the users.

But it does not have near the popularity that WhatsApp does among the under 25 crowd.

WhatsApp is changing the way users message friends and family.

While the marketing revenue is also weak, the WhatsApp users can pay for upgrades to data usage and for the app itself.

Kik

Is an App that is designed for messaging.

One of the advantages of Kik is that it allows for group users to message each other on a mobile platform.

According to an interview by one of Kik's creator's, Kik has the advantage of being designed for a mobile device, unlike Google+ and Facebook.

Kik's interface allows it to be more like an instant message rather than an email.

One of the visions of Kik is to be a platform that can lead to whole web experience including businesses and social interaction platforms.

While one of its biggest competitors is WhatsApp, Kik's long term vision of making a social platform designed for mobile use may allow it to be a contender for future social media users.

Pros and Cons of New Social Media Platforms and Apps

Platform
Pros
Cons
Google +
Easier to gain users and compartmentalize, video chat
Not as many users yet, navigation can be harder to learn
Pinterest
Visually appealing, easier to share products you are interested in, good return for marketing
Posts can get lost in the sea of information and pictures
Snapchat
Privacy, not having every photo or message stored or gathered
No permanent record--no proof, possibilities for marketing may be limited
WhatsApp
Easy install, saves money on text messaging
Can only interact with other app users
Kik
Designed for mobile platforms, future social media platform
Heavy competition from other chat apps from Facebook and WhatsApp

Facebook has had many issues over the years--changes that made it hard to make your profile private or hard to navigate, ads that used your "likes" to entice others to click on links--creating general user distrust.

But one of the good points of Facebook was that, in this fragmented world, for a moment we were all united. Almost everyone you knew had a Facebook page.

You could catch up with friends in the same town or old acquaintances who had moved halfway around the world.

While technology overall has done so much good, it has also fractured society into small pockets and niches. One group uses one technology while another prefers a different one based on age, demographics and social needs.

At Facebook's peak, for a brief moment in time we were all united again, using the same technology and communicating, for better or for worse, in the same ways.

As these new platforms and apps seep in and take different groups with them, the compartmentalization of society will once more be as prominent as it is inevitable.

Which platform or app do you think will be most popular in the next decade?

See results

Have you moved on from Facebook? What platform or app are you using?

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    • LCDWriter profile image
      Author

      L C David 3 years ago from Florida

      This is very true. Facebook does have some mobile issues. Some updates are better and some are worse.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Can't really guess which platform or app will be most popular in the next decade, but know it will have to be mobile-friendly.

    • LCDWriter profile image
      Author

      L C David 4 years ago from Florida

      I agree with you that Google+ is growing and I know that many businesses already prefer it.

      As I was researching I saw there are many holes in Facebook and these platforms are coming in to fill in the gaps and siphon off current users.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Facebook definitely has competition. I feel that Google+ will continue to grow and Facebook will continue its downward spiral. I just read the other day that billionaire investors are selling Facebook stock.

      I found that table you made very useful, showing the pros and cons of several social platforms. Very interesting. Voted up.

    • ossmedia profile image

      Jason Roiz 4 years ago from Delhi

      Informative content. I think whatsapp will overcome other social media sites.

    • LCDWriter profile image
      Author

      L C David 4 years ago from Florida

      Thanks SidKemp. It's interesting to watch the different groups come in and expose Facebook's weaknesses. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks - your comparison chart is particularly valuable! Voted up and useful.