There’s a Network for That… But Does There Need to Be?
The trend of specialization that is at the heart of Apple’s infectious “there’s an app for that” campaign has come to the social media world in the form of specialized networks like LinkedIn (the professional network), Pinterest (the photo network), and Twitter (the information network). But is this really necessary? Facebook seems not to think so. With its recent $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the company is making the case that in the social media world one network is enough.
All Your Interests in One Place
With every update Facebook is making your profile *ahem* Timeline a more dynamic online representation of your offline self. Its new Open Graph app architecture takes advantage of the more visual Timeline interface by prominently presenting app content on individuals’ pages. Interested in movies and photography? With Open Graph your friends can now see what movies you watched on Netflix and your pictures from Pinterest or Instagram. Many people don’t want to share this information with everyone, and luckily Facebook has also taken that offline instinct online.
Real World Privacy
Social interactions are a complicated process of give and take in which you end up sharing different parts of your personality with different friends and acquaintances. This fundamental aspect of social life has slowly made its way into Facebook’s user experience as more specific, easier to use (but far from perfect) privacy controls have been implemented. So, rather than maintaining separate professional and social profiles they suggest you just restrict what co-workers or contacts have access to. With these new features Facebook is aiming to become the everything network.
Bringing Social to Every Corner of the Internet
Just like Apple’s iOS, Facebook is providing an easy-to-use interface that stills allows for originality and creativity while keeping familiarity across all its uses and tools. While it has developed its own resources like Marketplace and Questions, it has also embraced other social tools with one example being FourSquare’s close integration into Places. Other apps, like our own Work for Us has leveraged Facebook for recruiting and to socialize job applications. By involving outside developers, Facebook has created not just a social network, but a social platform.
While all these other social media outlets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, the future looks Facebook blue. What do you think Facebook’s Instagram purchase says about the future of social media? Let us know in the comments!
This post was written by Jamie Horton