There are a bunch of newish social networks out that just can’t compete with Facebook. Here’s why.
Ello is the new kid on the block. It’s full of hipsters and determined to never advertise to you. Everything is designed to be as simple as possible – which is its downfall. You can either check out what your friends are saying or look at the “Noise”. Sounds great in theory, but what do you get? Well, re-posts. Every time I look at “Noise” I see the same post reposted several times. I just scrolled for about five minutes and I swear I only saw five different posts.
So, the alternative is to look at “Friends”. But this is a very underpopulated area. I’m fortunate to have a small handful of friends on Ello, but there are plenty of tumbleweeds where interesting content should be.
Why is Facebook better? Well, there is interesting content from my friends and strangers, and I rarely see double-ups.
Tsu is really new, and almost no-one knows what it’s really for yet. It claims to be a way to get paid for your content, so obviously it’s full of social media professionals, content marketers and non-profits at the moment. No one else has heard of Tsu, so I’d hazard a guess that most of the content is promotional or gamed in some way to make more money. I only follow the charities, so my feed doesn’t look so bad, but there is still only a very small amount of content on Tsu.
A place that starts with marketers just isn’t going to grip the general public. Scrolling through hashtags to find interesting people to follow just leads to advertisements.
Medium isn’t so new. It’s partially designed to be longer than Twitter to be able to compete with the likes of Facebook. It’s also longer than that, so it really competes with blogging platforms generally.
Why can’t it compete? Well, they broke it. It used to be a place where people would put content and submit it to several great collections for eyeballs to see. Collections have now changed, so each article can only be submitted to one collection, and one that you’ve already been approved for at that. Your post will only be seen by your friends on Medium and the people in the collection you post to – and most people only have the right to post to their own collections, which don’t have many followers. This means articles get far more views if you simply write it on your own blog and post the link to Facebook. So, with the incentive to create content for Medium gone, why would people bother? This limits the new signups and again the eyeballs on each piece of content.
App.net is fantastic. It’s basically what Twitter was in 2007, which was awesome. Only a handful of Tech-savvy companies are on it, along with some social media professionals and some geeks. Scrolling through your feed actually leads to interesting content. In a social network where most of the interaction is with people who you’re not friends with, this is great news.
Why won’t it beat Facebook? Integrations generally involve you needing to be a developer and setting things up yourself, which frankly most people aren’t. And if you want to find people you know, you need to stumble across them serendipitously or invite them individually. Who invites their address book these days?
What Might Compete With Facebook?
Apps like Snapchat, Vine, Tinder, Telegram, and Yik Yak all offer something new and interesting. The number of friends you have on these apps is not as important as the aforementioned social networks. In the case of Tinder and Yik Yak, it makes no difference at all. The main distinction here is that these social networks revolve around making new connections, keeping things private for a few select friends or highlighting a particular type of content. These things will live on despite Facebook, and they’ll thrive alongside the giants.
Which Social Networks Will Struggle?
If you’ve tried a few niche social networks or new up-and-coming networks, what did you think of them compared to giants like Facebook? Will they struggle? Will they survive?