The Social Media Monopoly



Is there a deeper reason why Facebook is so popular?

It seems you can’t go anywhere right now without hearing someone bang on about facebook. We are reliably told that it is just one of a number of social media platforms breaking new ground… but I wonder whether this paints the whole picture.

It seems that in reality other social media platforms are few in number and easily integrated, or combined with facebook.

Challengers are clearly driving innovation and new functionality- but it always seems to be facebook that benefits- because what drives success in social media is people and networks and dare I say it…. a monopoly

I have a strong suspicion that this is symptomatic of social being very different to the types of media that preceded it.

The speed with which it has killed, integrated or copied its rivals has much less to do with its brilliance and much more to do with its nature.

At a fundamental level facebook is interesting because everyone’s on there, and as a result, you can pick and choose exactly who you want to hear from, befriend, poke or delete.

The simple undeniable fact is that I’m placed in greater editorial control because of the monopoly facebook has.

Has there ever been media before that was, by definition, more useful, more varied and more effective with less competition- I’m not sure that there has.

In fact, has there ever been a business that delivers a qualitatively better service to its consumers because it has less competition? Most would argue not.

Newspapers, television might sell more copies with less competition- but the quality and breath of the content and the end user’s experience would not necessarily be improved.

Social media is very different in this respect- the consumption of information is directly linked to the production of it and the more complete the social network is the more effective it is.

The key challenge for brands is how to you get consumers to engage with your products on a social level. The answer seems invariably to embed them in an experience- ideally a social one. People like to talk about their experiences and in some ways, that is all there is to talk about.

Experiences drive social- and that’s what we do here at iD Experiential. No matter how dominant facebook becomes, real life will go on and Experiential Marketing will always be key in the fight to stay in consumer’s newsfeeds- ignore it at your peril.

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