Social media is changing all the time and if you aren’t careful, you could easily end up in the slow lane to nowhere instead of in the fast lane to being a social media maven. Here are five social media trends which seem to be on the outs as opposed to being new and fresh:
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YouTube Amateur Videos
It’s not so much that people aren’t still posting massive numbers of amateur videos to the original social media video sharing site so much as that Google, which owns YouTube is trying to move away from this as a focus. Instead, they want to focus more on the professional side of YouTube videos, offering scripted materials and professional quality.
Look for YouTube to deemphasize these videos and possibly even to remove some of them in favor of the videos which include professional quality, scripted materials. Other smaller video sharing sites such as Daily Motion are likely to take over from YouTube though in offering those amateur videos, so if you still want your daily dose of inanity, feel free to look for it there.
Telling Everyone about Everything
While Facebook’s status updates are great for telling your friends about the latest date you were on or even what you just ate for lunch, there’s really no reason that your boss needs to know about the fact that you had a hot date with some guy last night. Google+ introduced a new feature which allows you to choose whom you will provide what updates to and Facebook recently introduced a similar feature.
This means that you can hopefully expect a better quality and more useful stream on your Facebook wall than you otherwise would have.
Collaborative Document Editing
Google made a big fuss out of their Google Wave service, which was meant to allow people to share documents and to work together on editing them from different locations. While not so much a social media trend as a business social media trend, this concept is dying a slow and agonizing death. Google already dropped their Wave service quietly a few months ago and it’s beginning to seem that shared editing of a document will once again remain the exclusive province of the interoffice network rather than some kind of a larger social media mélange.
Yes – we know, everyone seems to be in love with location sharing right now and it seems like it’s likely to be the next big thing in social networking. So how can we say that location sharing is a social media trend which is on its way out? We have two words for you: home invasion. Yep, that’s right. The economy is in the toilet with real unemployment in the 18% range and people regularly losing their homes. Statistics show that every time the economy tanks, crime and especially house robberies go up.
This whole trend of telling everyone where you are at the moment and how long you’ll be there for (so ostensibly your friends can what? Drop by?) is likely to end up being one of those things that people didn’t really think about in advance.
Think about it – you’re a thief looking for an easy mark where you can score some easy cash, maybe a few laptops and whatnot. If you have any brains at all, you log on to a site like Four Square and look to see who is currently out of the house. Boom – no need for surveillance or watching for patterns. The mark will tell you whatever you need to know and when to make your move. In short, this is a technology which has no real value and which can lead to a lot of heartache for a lot of people so we expect it to be one of those social media trends which will be on its way out in another year or two.
Plain Corporate Pages
Finally, now that every guy and his brother has a corporate Facebook page, it’s no longer enough to simply have a page where you post a handful of status updates periodically. You need to be able to show your visitors why they should like you and why they should spend time at your page. This means that you need to step up your game and offer unique and truly interesting content or you’ll find that your corporate image online is a social media trend which is definitely on the way out.
Frank Anderson is a regular contributor to many popular social media and tech blogs. He also works with web hosting and other Internet technologies.