Before Facebook and Twitter started, no one knew just how much social media sites would catch on. Now, only a few years after the launch of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, we are quickly realizing the impact these sites have had. It appeared that the key with any new social media site, whether Foursquare, YouTube, Facebook, etc., was differentiation. The overall consensus had been that Facebook would be for friends and family, LinkedIn for business, Twitter for updates, Foursquare to broadcast your location, and so on. By each site finding a niche, each was able to survive. But what happens to a social media site that doesn’t differentiate from other existing ones?
The recent addition of Klout, Spotify and Google+ to the social media world is starting to send heads spinning. Google+ is in direct competition with many of the already existing social media outlets. Sure it has differences, but you have to start to wonder: when will people draw the line? How much time do you ‘waste’ on Twitter or Facebook? Can you really afford to waste that much time again on Foursquare, YouTube, Klout, Google+, and other sites? Sure there are tools, such as Hootsuite or TwitterDeck that have helped consolidate postings, but when are we going to realize we can’t do it all?
The vast number of social media sites is still continuing to climb, without a doubt; but at some point people will have to make a decision to forever delete Myspace and use Facebook, or delete a Facebook profile and use Google+. When will come the time when people have to start making a choice? When Facebook first started to catch on, there was no way to avoid it; those who didn’t like Facebook gave up their arguments because ‘everyone had one.’ The same things quickly happened with Twitter and LinkedIn. If you wanted to connect with friends, family, and coworkers, you had to have profiles on each of these networks.
The point of social media is that you can connect with others who are signed up. If half of your friends choose Google+ and half Facebook, you’d have to have both to stay in touch. Sure we can manage having these two different accounts for now, but what happens if more competition joins in? How will people decide which sites to be on? It may be possible that the majority will rule and everyone will stay on the site their friends are on just so they can share and network without worrying that other friends have accounts on a competing site. If that’s the case, it would mean the end of sites that are too closely related.