The Wall Street Journal reports that social-networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are losing visitors and speculates that there is also an increase of users deleting their pages. Market saturation, guerrilla marketing tactics, and an increase in too many “creepy friends” are all sited as possible reasons for the decline of new visitors and page deletions.
I believe that another very possible reason is because there are so many choices now, people are dispersing. The fact is, various social networking sites are popping up almost daily now. For example, Vox offically launched their site yesterday, and many of these new sites are aiming at more exclusive target markets.
In addition to the ones everyone knows about, (i.e. MySpace, FaceBook, Friendster) we also have (to name just a few!):
- MOG, (a Musical Nudist Colony???) for the music purists
- Jobster, for employment seekers
- YouSuckIRule, for those that want to go “evil”
- TagWorld, for those with tag addictions
- Downtown Women’s Club, for professional business women
- Tribe, for those wanting to network in their local community
- Maya’sMom, for the social parent
- and the list goes on and on…
With the plethora of choices, it is no wonder people are deleting pages in one site and jumping onto another. But now the dilemma… I have friends on MySpace, Mog and Tribe. I can’t keep up with maintaining a page on all of them, but I want to stay connected and keep access to some of the great media content that they generate or find.
In a post by Byrne Hobart, he ponders “Whats next for ‘Social Networking’ sites?” Hobart states, …”These sites host a few kilobytes of text and a much larger volume of movies, pictures, and music, but the only reason all that content gets centralized on a single page is that no one has found an effective way to decentralize it… (hint: It’s a matter of getting people to comply to standards, not making up a new technology)”
Yes! Media syndication for the rest of us please.