As Mark Zuckerberg changed the rules and interface of his Facebook playground, he opened the door to the next generation of social sharing – beyond faces to things and ideas showcased on new platforms like Flipboard and Pinterest.
Why and What has happened to shift the direction of social media?
There’s a limited amount of time we can spend talking about ourselves and other people before we want more. We want to talk about things we enjoy and ideas we like. The newer platforms fill this new interest.
Pinterest has created a virtual niche that people – women in particular – can embrace. I like trying new things for dinner or organizing something better. Now, instead of swapping a recipe at the office or over the back yard fence, I can see a pin on my friend’s board – or someone else’s – and if it fits me, I can repin it and share it with my own friends.
I’ve had an address book for almost 30 years and have relied on it. Now, the role of that address book has been supplanted by my phone contacts, Facebook, and LinkedIn worlds. I especially love how Facebook can link with my phone contacts so if I click on your picture, I can call, text, email, or Facebook you instantly.
However. No 2 women ever stood over a backyard fence comparing one another’s address books. The constant changing of the Facebook’s interface accelerated the interest in a different media. Pinterest is user friendly and offers a quick start, letting me immediately watch the boards of my Facebook friends or Tweeps.
Instead of a linear list of statuses, I see cool pictures of the things that interest me the most. In my case, that involves recipes, some home decor, and home organization plus fitness info and inspiration. If you love photography or travel, you can create your own clipboard of what you love. So instead of telling what I love, I show what I love and learn more about it at the same time.
I’ll still keep my address book, Facebook, LinkedIn et al. Pinterest can’t replace those tools. It wasn’t meant to. Instead, it takes social sharing to a new level, the new trend.
This is the beginning of the shift of social media to more sharing. If you want to do social media well in the next generation, you’ll need to bump it up a notch – a little less name dropping and personal branding and a little more sharing of content of value with a great picture attached.
I just read several leading gurus who all talked of how Google Plus will become the flavor to taste for 2012. I disagree. It’s a reworked retread of what we already have, wrapped in multicolor analytics with a Google search time bomb for a ribbon.
The real new trend will instead be social sharing that teaches and delights – by way of things and ideas more than people.