Why Social Platforms are shedding the Social Label. It seems these days that Social Media companies are pivoting on their identities. They are shedding their “social network” handles and rapidly diversifying in parallel. There was a point in our near recent past that everyone was a “social specialist,” with agencies and niche experts manifesting in droves from the ether. Yet now, everything that comes out as “social” falls into the shadow of social megalith Facebook – a company with a market cap of over $370 billion that is throwing some $3.8 billion worth of capital to building out its data centres alone, while snapping up anything worthy in the market – kind of daunting to compete against.
Snapchat recently changed its name to Snap Inc., and is now in the hardware business with its new ‘Spectacles’ (smart video-recording sunglasses, ala Google Glass, but apparently not like Google Glass). “The name is more fitting since the company is now more than just a social app,” said CEO Evan Spiegel to The Wall Street Journal.
Twitter COO Adam Bain at Advertising Week said, “ Twitter recently moved its mobile app listing in Apple’s App Store from the social section to news – and his team saw downloads of the app accelerate.” So is Twitter a Media company? It is certainly diversifying (as it must to survive) into streaming sports, debates, and other live broadcast media. And worthy acquisition suitors are circling, as the buzz is thick in the air.
And what about LinkedIn? After spending $26.2 billion on the acquisition, you know Microsoft will want to take its new darling deep into its CRM ecosystem, so what will its next iteration look like?
Then there’s Facebook. “The idea that Facebook is a social network? Pfft. There are so many jokes to crack about that,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg during a press conference. “I just don’t even know where to start, so I’m not going to crack any. It’s certainly not even a term I think we’ve used in a while.” And diversifying they are. There’s ‘Facebook Marketplace’ (an alternative to Craigslist and eBay), ‘Facebook at Work’ (an alternative to LinkedIn), ‘Facebook Live’ (an alternative to TV and YouTube), ‘Facebook Messenger’ (your Bot go-to for peer to peer and retail interactions), and of course, they are currently building out Snapchat-like new features, to well, become the next… Snapchat (sorry – Snap Inc).
The market metamorphosis continues with many others grappling to keep up with the shifting landscape, trying to make sense of what the players will be tomorrow, next week, next month… and even through to the almost unfathomable next year.
With diversification comes a new mindset.
The name is more fitting since the company is now more than just a social app, CEO Evan Spiegel told The Wall Street Journal.
Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications
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