The past decade has brought us the social media revolution, changing the way we interact with people forever.
Gone are the days of IRC, MSN Messenger, Friendster, and MySpace.
With the advent of Google and Apple coming out with their own mobile ecosystems that continue to dominate our lives until today, the necessity of mobile applications has correspondingly risen.
In the early days, there was an endless supply of up and coming social networking apps, each vying to rule the roost; but we all know who is the king of the hill now – right, Facebook? The rapid emergence of Instagram and Snapchat among smartphone users is also something to not underestimate.
Today we take a look at 4 Social Media websites and apps that we signed up for with hopes that it will increase our street cred, but in reality fell flat and faded from our immediate memory.
They were the first one to make the #hashtag cool, but unfortunately have had to play catch-up to Facebook in recent times.
When it first came out, there was a genuine air of excitement, and back then, my Twitter feed was filled with new status updates almost every minute.
Nowadays though, probably only about 5% (or even less) of my friends are on Twitter actively, using the platform to rant about their daily lives, or just to share private stuff they normally would keep away from their more public Facebook.
That is the gravity of how far Twitter has fallen out of favour with most people. As the ever popular #hashtag made its way into Instagram and Facebook, the ability to post videos and photos on Twitter still fails to recapture its initial user base.
Before Snapchat became a thing, there was Vine.
Founded in 2012 and later acquired at the end of that year by Twitter, Vine introduced to the world that the sharing of looping, short six second videos was a viable way to share content, spawning a new wave of content creators who specifically target this platform.
One of their most notable personalities that you may have heard is Zach King who entertains with his mind boggling, yet realistic 6 second offerings.
Unfortunately, much like its parent company, Vine has been suffering the same downward spiral.
Aside from seeing many talented creators move on to other platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube, the app has seen some 5,000 of Vine’s top 9,725 of its most influential accounts having stop posting completely on the platform.
It has also increasingly turned into a hotbed of toxic content, with rampant racism, homophobia, stolen jokes and content.
I used to really like Tumblr.
That was a time before Yahoo had acquired it, and it was home to a multitude of contents from accounts ranging from photography, illustrations, animated GIF images – especially if you’re a K-Pop fan.
Tumblr used to compete directly with Blogger (remember all your angsty blogposts?) in the blogosphere, offering more options for visitors to interact with anyone they follow with features to ‘like’, re-blog, or comment on posts.
But why has it stagnated so much since its acquisition?
For one, they are notoriously slow to adapting to the changing needs of users, and not adding features to address those needs.
With Yahoo’s acquisition by Verizon, there is perhaps a lifeline to save what’s left of it. They have since introduced live video features, but critics are calling it ‘6 months too late’.
Another thing which they are lagging far behind in is ads, which they only announced recently. While users have been enjoying an ad-free experience, Tumblr has been making losses after losses.
Did we also mention that Tumblr is a breeding ground for uncensored adult content? This is yet another reason why it is driving users away, because even with some harmless keywords search, you will be face with some distasteful results.
The fight to be the ‘Mayor’ of your block is more or less dead.
When Foursquare was launched, it brought with it the start of a mass competition within an app to be the Mayor of certain places, a concept which was expanded upon in Augmented Reality apps such as Ingress, and now, Pokémon GO.
Now this location discovery app is on a sharp decline despite still having millions of active users. With plenty of key staff ‘checking out’, they are in a position where they are not able to compete with the big boys, many of whom already have location-based features baked into their apps.
Instead, the company is keeping itself afloat by licensing out its location technology, and they want to keep it this way so that knowing or unknowingly, a lot of apps that you will be using in the future will have a bit of Foursquare in them.
Time To Hit Uninstall
I don’t know about you, but the apps of these social media sites are no longer have a home on my mobile phone, though I may visit them from time to time on my computer.
The only three I use right now are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, in that order. Due to our fast-paced lifestyles, consuming content needs to be convenient, and these apps fit the bill.