It seems like every time we log on to our social accounts, one of them now has a “new” feature that seems…oddly familiar. Let’s think back to a few months ago when the social media critics called a big fat “Copy Cat!” on the introduction of Instagram stories. Instagram, a social media platform created primarily for single photo sharing, has evolved into something so much more- a place for videos, 24 hour disappearing stories, carousels and more. As marketers, we know how it goes. One new product comes to the market and shortly after there is an abundance of variations available from different companies trying to get their taste of the pie. It’s just how it goes.
But let’s take a second to think about social media platforms separately. Generally social media platforms come on to the scene as a niche offering, especially now when people have such an array of platforms and don’t necessarily have the time nor do they want to take on the responsibility of managing another persona. Users download a new app because it is offering them something their current social channels are not. So, the niche offering is the foot in the door… and then the takeover begins. The social channel begins to morph into the similarities of all the other social channels out there. So, is this a good or a bad thing?
If you’re looking to connect with your coworkers and past classmates with the hope to potentially find a job, where do you go? LinkedIn? EHHH. Wrong. You can now go to Facebook for that. Facebook Jobs just rolled out giving users the ability to search for job titles, industries and locations. Is it convenient? Sure. It’s a familiar platform that everyone knows relatively well, that’s offering more services to its users. But the real question, is it adding more value? Not only do a lot of people use a specific platform for a specific need, but most people like to keep a divide of personal, work, and other social circles separate. Personally, I know I am connected with different types and volumes of people on different channels. My Snap circle is exponentially smaller than my Facebook circle. And I like it that way.
But while people are most likely to reject change at first, you find that now the majority of Instagram users are actively using Instagram Stories. Does this mean Snap is on the way out? Not a chance. Not anytime soon anyways. The good news is with all this copy-cat competition, social platforms are giving current users the best experience possible and brands are able to utilize social media like never before. May the best version win! We can argue this for the demise of platforms such as MySpace and Vine. Someone did it better. Someone, coughFacebook&Instagramcough, kept up with the trends better, giving users the better experience.
So the question again, “Is it better for social platforms to stick to what they know?”. My answer; it depends. It depends on the feature, the audience, the platform and a dozen other factors. But the good news is, social platforms are better than ever. As far as the next "new" feature, I’ll let you decide for yourself!
Interested in the new Facebook Jobs feature? Check it out here: http://www.facebook.jobs/