Lately, as I’ve been scrolling through various social media platforms, I often find myself falling into an abyss of mindless scrolling that seems to happen when you get on social media with no clear purpose. It then got me thinking about the actual purpose of social media and how much it had changed from when I first became active back in middle school till now.
What is social media? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).” I would say that this definition holds today as it did when it first became popular. Though the way that we engage with these platforms and the features they hold have changed drastically.
My first social media account was Facebook, and I created that back in early 2010, and what I remember from that time was that I honestly used it like how I currently use Twitter. To tell the world, aka my small friend group at the time, how I was feeling or what I was doing at any present moment. That was the whole purpose of Facebook at the time; it wasn’t until later that you could join communities/groups and interact with people outside your friend list. The same with Instagram; when I first joined, I used it only to share pictures while catching up with friends who were doing the same.
Social media today is very different. We now have multiple platforms that allow you to share creatively while catching up on what your friends and others do. We also can share video stories and do live streams. You also have the option to buy and sell almost anything on these platforms. Social media has revolutionized the way we connect with others and innovatively changed how we use these platforms.
The changes with social media don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. There are already predictions for what we might see in 2022. Some of what I’m most excited about are:
- AR/VR development
- The rise of audio social
- Twitter Blue; where creators will have the ability to earn revenue from their tweets.
- Variable Focus, mainly on Instagram, where users will have the option to open directly to reels/stories instead of the traditional feeds page
- Live-stream events on LinkedIn
I’ll be honest and say there are days that I wish social media were the same as it was in the past, as it was simpler then, but when I think about all the new features and technology on the way, I’m thrilled!
Hutchinson, A. (2021, October 18). 26 predictions for Social Media Marketing in 2022. Social Media Today. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/26-predictions-for-social-media-marketing-in-2022/608443/.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Social media. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20media