The Rebirth of Social Networks

By now I’m sure we are all too familiar with the life cycle of most social networks. Typically, it is short and sweet. While social networks fade into the background everyday, there aren’t as many stories of them making a comeback. Over the past week, however, two social media platforms have announced some big changes that may just create a new narrative when discussing the life span of social networks: the rebirth.
  • Instagram – While Instagram has never waned in popularity, the addition of a video sharing feature may prove deadly for another growing platform: Vine. Last Thursday, Instagram launched a new video sharing feature that not only allows users to capture 15 seconds of video (9 seconds more than Vine), but also add on Instagram’s infamous filters. While some have pegged this as the death of Vine early on, others predict an opposite fate. Some believe that this will be Instagram’s downfall. Because users are accustomed to their niche apps (Instagram for photos and Vine for video), they may not be too thrilled with the inclusion of both on one feed. Others appreciate the simplicity that this change will bring to their home screens. This is still a new development. Only time will tell which app will survive in the end, or if there is room for both in our lives.
  • Myspace – Myspace was probably the social network that took the hardest hit when Facebook began rising in popularity. It went down as the site that tried to do everything. As stated before, people have said that they prefer their niche platforms: networks that do only a few things, but very well. Ironically, Facebook’s popularity is beginning to decline for that very reason, trying to do it all. Myspace, however, seems to have learned from its mistakes. Earlier this month, Myspace aired its new commercial that features popular music artists such as Pharrell, Sky Ferreia, and Mac Miller. The purpose is to completely rebrand Myspace by going back to what originally made them successful: a place to discover and share new music. With a beautiful and simplistic new design and celebrity endorsements, I think it’s safe to say that Myspace may be experiencing that rebirth phase. 
What do these changes mean for us? It means we need to be even more diligent to keep up not only with the birth of new networks, but the rebirth of old ones as well. Don’t be so quick to delete those apps off your phone. Give it a month and a great rebranding team and you may find yourself signing back in. 

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