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The Hunt for the Next Big Social Network

By Jennifer Birch

Jennifer Birch

Jennifer Birch

Social media is all around us. Since 2004, when the beta version of Facebook arrived on the world wide web, everyone was skeptical of its ability to change the world.

Today, these social virtual platforms have become an extension of our lives. In fact, even employers consider using this medium in evaluating job applicants, making it an extension of their resume.

Thus, understanding how it works and what to expect next becomes a necessity more than an option.

In January 2014, Facebook said although its usage by U.S. teens is still stable, the company is experiencing a slow drop in younger user demographic.

From this scenario, big questions arise: Will Facebook be able to retain its glorious position? Or will another social network take the crown? Let’s find out.

Battle for the best interface

We’ve seen how Facebook easily changes its interface overnight. Despite that some of its users expressed deep sentiment about the sudden updates, they soon found ways to live and adjust with it.

Facebook carefully dealt with it by saying that its goal is to make things easier for users so they can easily keep up with their friends by never missing an important update from them.

Today, we see the likes of Twitter following this trend. With the latest update redesigning the navigation bar with flat designs and less black (and more white). Experts said the icons were, in fact, patterned after buttons on the Twitter smartphone app.

To keep up with the 2013 social trend, Twitter decided to make everything flat and clear, where fonts are made thinner but larger and the buttons are not three-dimensional anymore.

We should expect these platforms to continue looking for their unique design online, until then we can only see them following each other’s interface until we get fed up with it.

Who’s got the most intuitive app?

Facebook app developers are, obviously, iOS fans. They always launch their applications first on Apple devices. When they had the chat heads, it first arrived for the iPhone and iPad users only, before they made the update available for Android and other platforms (which they eventually took out since it wasn’t intuitive enough for users).

Today, US Apple users are able to enjoy a new Facebook app in the form of Paper. Smashing various ideas from various apps and mobile platforms, this new application places all your timeline feeds in paper-like tiles.

This type of competition is very apparent in the social industry, especially in a world driven by mobile users. Social media without a mobile application is somehow useless, especially when most sales come from mobile users.

What should we expect next?

Although Facebook had the majority of the market, there are a few features it hasn’t learned to integrate on its platform. These are what we think will come out next on social media.

1. Who’s viewed your profile?

Users are now becoming more curious on who’s actively checking them online. Although LinkedIn has incorporated this feature for job seekers, it seems that the next step for Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s website is to incorporate this feature. Today, what users only have are apps promising a list of people who viewed you that ends up to be spam.

2. Virus scanner

You’ve seen the trend lately, yet no matter how people try to avoid social media virus, they still continue to infiltrate our online life. When left unattended, these viruses are openly accessing all your information from your social media profile, including your name, pictures, videos, etc.

The best solution is to incorporate a virus scanner. Human error is inevitable. They should bring more security to users by adding an extra pack of scanners to avoid these obscene videos from posting on our pages.

3. Rise of ‘ephemeral’ social networks

With the success of apps like Snapchat, we are certain that it will be included in the next wave of social media. These applications have the ability to quickly share and take videos, photos, text, and drawings to a recipient. The sender will have to set a time limit on how long the recipient can view the file sent (ranging from 1-10 seconds); after that, it will be hidden from their device and deleted from the app servers.

Overall, it seems that Facebook will continue to take the top spot as the most popular social media site. But, one day, we’re certain that an underdog with a very unique offering will take over this position, after all, this distinct personality is what makes Facebook the top performer in the social media industry.

About the Author

Jennifer Birch (pictured above) – who lives in the United Kingdom – has written this article for RMN Digital. Jennifer is a tech blogger who’s marveled by the influential power of social media to the online public. Being an active netizen, she is determined to study its developments and effects to the tech-savvy society. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

RMN Company invites independent writers from all parts of the world who could contribute their original articles for RMN Company’s online news properties. Here are the guidelines.

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