If you were to draw up a social media family tree, the lineage that connects Friendster to LinkedIn, LinkedIn to MySpace, MySpace to Facebook, and Facebook to Twitter wouldn’t be that hard to follow in retrospect. Nor would the pace of adoption of these tools for business — very few companies bothered with Friendster, but now even some of the most conservative businesses have jumped onto Facebook and Twitter. Each new tool brought more to the table and contributed to the adoption of social media as a both a personal- and business-communications platform.
But what comes next? What will the “next-gen” social media tool look like?
SmartBrief’s Sean McMahon posed that very question to “Internet Warrior” author Mike “Zappy” Zapolin. Zappy’s prediction: niche, niche, niche.
“If you’re in social network for a business or social media for a certain age group or a certain niche or geographic area, that I think could be the real breakout,” Zapolin explains.
Zapolin, who moderated a panel discussion at last week’s Milken Institute Global Conference on “Developing Your Brand for Online and Mobile Audiences,” goes on to use the evolution of dating websites to support his idea. The Match.coms of the world might dominate, but smaller sites that cater to specific dating desires (think JDate, eHarmony, etc.) have been able to succeed by fine-tuning the user experience, he says.
Watch the full interview with Zapolin.