POV: The next big thing in social media

The author is a student at Skidmore College who is interning at Spotlight Newspapers.

Social media is popular right now. How could it not be? It connects people all around the world and has the ability to make any person become somewhat well known, since anyone can post one picture or video that could potentially be shared with millions.

When social media websites were on the rise, their ability to make someone more noticeable to strangers attracted outside businesses. Even though I can’t give an example of someone who has become famous strictly through Facebook (well, except maybe Mark Zuckerberg) it has definitely become a method of enhancing someone’s popularity, whether it be a band, celebrity or even a business. A good indicator of a successful social media site is the fact that businesses find it to be a good method of advertising themselves.

It’s essential for businesses now to have a Facebook and Twitter presence if they want to reach a wide audience since so many people are on them and can access them, even without an account. Additionally, consumers can communicate with the business and voice an opinion in a casual manner. These sites started out as popular among people looking to mainly socialize, but after businesses saw success by using them, they became a phenomenon and important marketing strategy.

There were many who did not join until late in the movement’s popularity. Some didn’t even hear of Twitter before news reports started using the site as a resource for real time information on breaking news. It shows that the growth of these services is unpredictable. So with all the already popular social media sites, which one will become as important Facebook or Twitter?

Just a few years ago, it seemed numerous sites on the rise were becoming incredibly popular. One site, Digg, was popular a few years ago, yet now seems rather obscure compared to other social news sites. This site allowed users to see news stories that were posted by others and either give the stories a positive or negative vote, thereby “digging” or “burying” it, and determining what others will see first when they visit the site throughout the day. This was one of the first news websites used expressly to link with articles, allowing users to share the article directly, which gave it a boost in popularity.

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