Thursday, May 6, 2010

Demise of social media website


Internet industry is teeming with social networking sites. Top websites that has captured the mind share are face book, You Tube, Blogger, Baidu, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, dig and WordPress. Although it is the trend, this in itself is no guarantee for social networking sites success? ‘Interactive nature’ of social media has transformed the meaning of ‘human communication’. This is a sharing mechanism that keeps users to the sites. Users increase the popularity of any websites and especially if I talk about social networking sites users work as a propellers to push to success. I opened my Face book account because some of my friends suggested me to do so. A high number of users attract the advertisers for advertising and this is how websites earns money and makes profit. “If anything goes wrong with ‘conversation mechanism’, it becomes the prime reason for the failure of any social networking websites”.

Since the inception of social media we have witnessed umpteenth sites lose popularity, after the initial success like yari, apna circle, bigadda, bharat networking, six degree, live journal and Friendster. Many sites have come and gone but the decline of ‘Bebo - Blog early, blog often’ really catches my attention. In April 2010 AOL announced to sell or shut down Bebo. The site was launched in 2005 and was acquired by AOL in 2008. Slowly it became the world’s most popular social networking site and still holds the position in UK and some other countries. It downturn started in 2007 when Face book over took it in terms of number of users.

Reasons for failure:

• Social networks need to have a clear purpose. It should define its target group from its inception. Many websites fail because of lack of conceptual planning and ignorance of users’ need. It prioritises monetization from the beginning and thus, advertisements are given more importance over users’ engagement. I am not saying don’t put banners because this is the way to earn money in Internet domain. But too much of it can result in the loss of user connect and may push them away. Social media website should have proper balance between advertisements and content. Ignorance of any of these two can be the reason for decline. So, use the space judiciously to keep your users engaged.

• Social media is about sharing; if you remove the sharing quotient then it will lose its essence. It might act like a king in the beginning but with the passage of time it will fail to offer anything new to users. Nobody wants to joins a social networking site that doesn’t do anything special other than what is already being offered by other websites in the market. Don’t be a copy- cat but try to lure users by delivering fresh and engaging features. This was the only reason people shifted from Orkut to Facebook. Facebook understood its users and gave a new angle to social networking. It added various features that helped users to share more with their friends. Games like Farmville and Mafia Wars are the top most games in social media domain. The number of Face book users is only growing with time.

• Social media website should be user friendly. Complexities in technology can diver users to alternate options. One of the vivid examples is Friendster’s failure. Though, Friendster offered different features it put an age limit for its users, blocking people who were below 18. Kids nowadays constitute the biggest users base for social networking. MySpace took a quick decision and offered all the required luxury to its users. But even MySpace could not keep the promise and headed downhill after a while. You cannot expect all of your users to be tech friendly. It is a good area that can give the website an edge. Social media is not merely about connecting people and sharing images and videos. It is also about being able to express them in the manner that users want them to be. I was wondering why the demography of Face book’s population is so diverse. The one simple reason I can see is its users’ friendly ecosystem. This is giving marketers enough reasons to participate and Face book enough points to earn.

Take away: Technology changes at lightning speed, so there is no guarantee that any one website will stay at the number 1 all time. Right now Face book is clearly leading but may be one day some other website can come up and take the hot seat in the social media milieu. As long as a social networking site can manage to offer engaging content, there is no reason for its failure.


  1. Dont know how i reached ur blog..maybe thru search engine. apart from anything else ur command over english is very good...ur vocab is very good..atleast for me. content and creativity is perfect.