With increasing pressure being placed on social media platforms to stand out in a somewhat saturated marketplace, it is no surprise that the social giants are on-guard to update and innovate their channels constantly. On the 15th of January, Mr Zuckz announced that Facebook is rolling out a new Police-esque product called “Amber Alerts”, which exists to help families find lost/missing or abducted children. As Mark stated, “Facebook isn’t just about sharing the moments in your life- it’s also about helping our community be a force for good in the world.” What started as an online rating system for college hotties, has now become the single biggest social media platform in the world (go figure) and has moved and matured significantly since its inception. These changes are necessary if Facebook wishes to stay relevant and interesting in the minds of the increasingly impatient public, and I personally think it’s great to see that Facebook is learning from and acting on how the channel is being used by fans.
The other major contender on the topic of social platform innovation in recent weeks is Snapchat. Over the weekend, Snapchat premiered its first original scripted series called Literally Can’t Even, which suits the show’s complete lack of depth. The stars of the series are the daughters of Steven Spielberg and John Goldwyn, two well-respected members of the film industry. Why these talented fathers would encourage (or maybe they didn’t) their daughters to participate in a show about their own lives “playing friends and writing partners who go through breakups, juice cleanses, and other Los Angeles-esque trials of young adulthood” baffles me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of “Girls” (like HUGE) but perhaps that’s also why I’m a little sceptical as to how a tv series which runs for a couple of minutes at a time on a small screen and disappears after 24 hours is really going to be effective? I also fail to really see the point that Snapchat is trying to make with this new innovation. Are they attempting to take on Netflix? It’ll be interesting to see how this goes and if the episodes really have the power to capture you and keep you coming back at an exact time in less than 5 minutes. I think I’ll personally stick to sending my friends belly-roll pics on my fat days and eagle-eye views of my shoes with the eggplant emoji.
It’s all well and good for social platforms to remain relevant and keep ‘surprising and delighting’ consumers with new updates and innovative add-ons, but the battles need to be picked carefully. After all, social media can’t do everything, can it? 😉