In certain endless ways, our Modern Social Networking inventions have plateaued. I am not so daft to believe that our creativity has gone dry and that we are somehow contempt in any such way, because that is simply not true. And our imagination is not deficient, current entrepreneurs and tech starts ups are pumping out concepts that are revolutionizing the industry as fast as the industry revolutionizes itself. Today we build an app to improve the iPhone, and then we improve the iPhone which replaces the need for the app. This is happening right now, it is a cyclical performance, it has been proven tirelessly over the last decade and no one really debates it; we accept it. But observe this truth. The romance of innovation has been dried up by the science of improvement. Unite.ai published an article in May of 2022 which introduced 10 of the markets best AI tools for social media. An app called Lately (which is something I want to download NOW) implements a sophisticated AI into a business’s social media strategy. The user subscribes to the service, connect it to as many social accounts as they can (TikTok, Insta, FB, etc.) and as many channels as the user has, and after the connections have been placed on the lately dashboard; you need a URL and couple of seconds. You drop the URL of the article of blog that you fancy in the auto post generator, throw in a couple hashtags, and press generate. Lately’s AI will construct full thoughts and sentences and compile into social posts. You can sort, edit, schedule, and send the auto generated posts out seamlessly, sometimes you will have 19 options to choose from. Again, it takes the AI, 1.8 seconds to create these posts from something you never had to read. There is Linkfluence which monitors and analyzes company platforms providing valuable social insights to you, this again by the use of their AI. The Linkfluence, which is also an extraordinary concept, produces massive amounts of data that gets pulled from every possible social platform and news agency in the world, rolls up this data in diagrams and slick tables presenting it back to the user. The AI makes it as simple as typing a name in a search bar and immediately data is compiled, there to inform you on absolutely everything from virtually everywhere. But is this truly our future? Sure, it can help revolutionize the now and moment, but what is truly next for Social Networking? Do we just stay big (Global)? Look, I know the money is there right now, we have Blip (a bill pay app), Macro (Intelligent Linking editor), and Sesame Labs (Digital Marketing toolbox), and these companies are all in their seed rounds (first round of funding and sometimes pre-development) and they have collectively raised over $16M in funding. These companies combined have less than 50 people employed. Yes, it is a verifiable fact that investors and our modern-day social media architects are filling in the gaps and making bridges baby. But all of this mentioned improves the social constructs of the age, I am interested with this article in exploring what innovates the social constructs of this age. What changes the game, what reverses the flow, flips the equation upside down and twists it inside out? What is truly next?
Right before the end of 2021, in late December, Forbes pushed out an article on their online platform titled, 2022: The Year Of Shopping Smaller & Locally? The reason I bring this up is not to compliment Kate (writer) on a neat observation (it was) and it is not to tell here that her guess was correct (it was); I bring it up because this is about to impact Social Networking. I suppose in a rage of irony here, we observe that it is our Social Networks that need to catch up to humanity and not the other way around. Covid-19 forced lockdowns of small businesses and large ones, a lot of the smaller ones did not survive, but those places that did survive might indeed thrive. Research indicates that 59& of consumers had bought from local stores and services more regularly in the lockdowns. Social Media platforms offering digital outlets and bolster the ways the smaller brands and businesses connecting with the community around them. Some of the services mentioned already in this article will soon help these small businesses grow and strategize, creating fresh avenues for their expansion and subsequently negatively impacting big businesses and corporate sales. It is best summarized in the closing line of Kate Hardcastle’s article, “A vibrant and hyper-localised high street could see the end of the homogenized high street. What a welcome legacy that would be”. This writer is a global go-to consumer specialty and multi-award winning international business consultant and commentator. She knows what she is talking about and how daft we would all truly be, if we did not think this bleed’s into and on top of the tech industry? After all, what is the tech industry (and industry for that matter) but not one that is filled to the brim of the people that comprise it. That is not a question, because we all know the answer. Big tech is going to see a change of heart and we need social networking sites to start seeing people and not just users. The future of social media will be forged by those networks who have the valor and courage to connect people and not things. The horizon looks familiar for the Social Networking world and why shouldn’t it? The truth is, that as sexy and sleek as those tables and graphs are, as informed as we want to be, it is all just too much. We don’t live in just a city, it is first before that, a home. Look, I will leave you on what some might consider to be a somber note, but don’t take it that way. Be tough, and let’s have some grit, ok? Use this as an opportunity to prep yourself, your family, and your mind for the future of social networking. Just be mindful. Community is about to go to the forefront, and pointless social upgrades are going to sit where they currently are, on the gloriously funded plateaus that we have all elected to place them on. The romance of this movement is that people are going to connect with people, and just as one writer aptly predicted in 2021, I make bold to predict that in 2023 that the money and investments will follow- This time, not social media enhancements, but social networking innovations.
And I reach out in the darkness for somebody I might hold
I reach out to the cosmos by staring at my phone
I reach a state of ecstasy, I return to despair
I remain educated, well-informed, and unaware
Ships in the Night (RyanMontbleau)