Facebook is a “must have” to keep tabs on, as its 800 million plus users means it is the defacto social network platform of choice for nearly one in two of the world’s web users.
The evolution of Facebook continues to be met by grass roots protest that rails against any change that rumbles people’s comfort zones. Despite this Facebook has no choice but to add and modify its features and functions to keep pace with Google+ and savvy upstarts which are a new generation social networks with no legacy baggage.
Google decided in 2009 that it could no longer ignore the social web as it watched Facebook warp the web into a global community of 800 million plus. On June 28, 2011 Google Plus launched and became the fastest growing social network in history reaching 25 million users in less than 30 days. It continues to grow at over 600,000 users a day and is projected to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012 according to estimates by Paul Allen.
Tumblr is a multimedia rich microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their short form blog. It is about ease of use.
The engagement on Tumblr is only second to Facebook at an average of over 141 minutes per month per user.
Ease of use and making it simple to post images plays into a web that embraces high definition and addictive images.
Slideshare is the “YouTube of Presentations” and allows you to upload PowerPoint into globally accessed slideshow and again is a highly visual social media platform.
It flies below the radar because it is more about business content and is the world’s largest professional content sharing community.
The highly visual nature of the site places it well in a social web that can’t get enough of images and visualization.
The seemingly slow evolution of Twitter frustrates some but its simplicity and immediacy as an open texting service on steroids continue to keep it top of mind in popular digital culture.
The real point of interest to watch with Twitter in 2012 will be to see if it rolls out a self serving ad platform that monetizes its network or whether it will work out another way make its 200 million plus users a revenue machine rather than a money pit!