Monday, July 11, 2011

Do We Need Another Social Networking Site?

MySpace, Facebook, then Twitter, now Google+, and let’s not forget all the smaller accounts in between like LinkedIn, Dailybooth, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare, Gowalla, PicPlz, Tumblr and others. Social media has skyrocketed over the past few years and has become a part of our everyday lives. With all this hubbub over social sites, it seems like every enthusiastic web savvy company is trying to create a new social media giant. Only a few of these sites make it to the millions, but even with the 13 sites listed above can sometimes get really overwhelming. Right?

Over the past few days, I’ve been on Google+ and loving just about every minute of it. The design, the Circles, and everything else I mentioned in the post over this weekend were reasons why I want to stick with G+. However, trying to incorporate another social network into my personal life is no easy task. I know I’m not the only one thinking this either. For years, Facebook and Twitter have been my primary means of sharing information, but now that Google has thrown itself in the mix with a very easy-to-use social networking site, I’m almost tempted to eliminate one of my channels. No, not delete my Facebook or Twitter, but rather retire one of them; keep it on the backburner, and focus on sharing through G+. If enough people get on board, it kind of raises the question of; is there’s really a reason to keep both Twitter & Facebook in a few years? Google+ can be customized so much with every post, you can separate close friends and new acquaintances (thanks to Circles) all while using one, simple, beautiful site. Then the question comes of "how can businesses use G+?" Is the game going to change in social media marketing if Google+ really takes-off?

Getting people onboard with ONE solid social networking site is tricky, and quite honestly will never happen. Say I abandon Facebook once Google+ totally opens its doors; what’s going to happen to all my friends and family who are die-hard Facebook-ers and refuse to switch? It’s not fair to cut them off from my life like that, is it? They’re the whole reason I’ve been posting status updates, pictures, videos and links on Facebook over the past 5 years. I want them to see what’s going on with their son, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend who's 2,500 miles away. And in return, I want to be able to catch up with them, and see what their up too every day as well. And what about all the businesses I "Like" on Facebook? How will I keep up with promotions that were normally promoted by "Liking" them on Facebook? How are businesses going to adapt to G+?

So what if we all switch? What if we all move to Google+? Is it worth it? I don't think so, because in another few years, what if something ELSE comes out? ANOTHER social media site will hit the internet. I'm fine with these new sites, but for my personal life, I just want one or two main ones. With as big as Facebook is, I don't see me leaving it anytime soon. I feel like as awesome as Google+ is, it's not what we need right now.

I guess what I'm saying is: do we really need any new social networking sites? I love social media almost as much as I love Christmas, Phoenix summers & Paula Deen's cooking, but where will the madness stop? Will we just continue blindly following whatever new site comes out? Should we be focusing on REALLY improving what we have now (i.e. Facebook & Twitter)?

Maybe I'll be okay once Tweetdeck incorporates G+.


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