It is undoubtedly true that the role social media plays on our everyday lives is extremely powerful. We are informed 24/7 by what happens in the world, we are entertained by memes, puns and GIFs, but most of all, we are looking for a connection, a sense of belonging to the immensity known as the World Wide Web.
Although Social Media is great for all the reasons stated above, people are fed up.
Advertising on Social Media? No thanks!
If you have a business and wish to promote it on social media, chances are you have dealt with paid media. Nowadays, it is not just important to be relevant, you also have to reach out to as many people as possible and especially, the right people. With paid media, you can achieve those same intended marketing results.
Although Social Media Advertising is a fairly recent industry, it is expected to generate, at a worldwide scale, a whopping 100,927 million dollars of revenue in 2019 (€89,383m), with an increase of 24,5% by 2023.
It seems that ads are not moving from social media anytime soon, leaving people with no choice but to move to the next big platform. From Facebook, to Twitter and more recently, Instagram. Run for your lives!
The King Says…Algorithm is the Ruler!
Every action you make on social media, influences in some way, the algorithm. From the cute video cat you just watched on Instagram, to the comment your friend just wrote on Facebook, the algorithm decides what you should watch next, based on many variables, such as the level of engagement.
Furthermore, social media algorithms are constantly changing, leaving business pages and social media users alike, with the notion that they have no understanding of how it works, nor do they feel as if they are in control of the content they first interact with. People no longer want to have an artificial generated feed on their social media platforms.
Keep out! My personal data is private!
The use of social media does not cost in your pocket, but it sure does in your privacy. We seem to forget that whenever we comply to the terms and conditions of any platform, we are giving out a small, yet important part of us: our personal data.
Social Data Mining is a real problem. Take the Cambridge Analytica’s scandal for instance: more than 87 million Facebook Users had their personal data exposed by Facebook to the Cambridge Analytica, who worked on Trump campaign, and did have an effect on the electoral results.
In Europe alone, the number of users daily logging onto Facebook has dropped from 279 million to 278 million, while European Facebook usage fell from 376 to 375 million.
Now, more than ever, people are searching for trustworthy platforms that respect their user’s need for privacy.
The brilliance and downfall of the Vero App
Created in 2015, Vero is a photo and link-sharing social media app with a bold ambition: to give power back to you, the user. The promise? No ads, no algorithms, no data mining and a more authentic way for self-expression.
In spite of being under the radar for nearly 3 years, Vero came back onto the spotlight in 2018, when it doubled its number of downloads, reaching 3 million users. Nowadays, it has around 5 million users.
The main appointed reason for this boom was the growing frustration with Instagram, namely the increase of advertisement influx and the occurring algorithm changes. Furthermore, unlike Instagram, in Vero divides your content into six collections: photos/videos, links, music, movies/tv, books and locations, which allows you to create a more authentic profile.
Although Vero shares similar functionalities with Instagram, there are still some underlining issues.
With the removal of ads, Vero will profit from a monthly subscription fee. The problem is when you consider Vero’s audience: the millennials. How can you convince an entire generation to pay for an online service, if they expect the Internet to be free of charge? Vero has been delaying the monthly subscription fee enforcement, but intends to start charging in the beginning of this year.
Nowadays, if a business, both big or small, is not present online, it does not exist. How can businesses get to use Vero, an ad-free platform, to their profit? It is true that Vero could be a great way for businesses to research and get to know their target’s likes and dislikes. But if a business’ intent is to reach a wider audience, then how will ad-free platforms help them out?
Let us not forget that Facebook and Instagram are still the big guys and have a much wider fanbase. If in fact Vero succeeds to overrule Facebook and Instagram, there is still the chance that it will simply outplayed or bought, becoming like others before him: a big enterprise ruled by corporative consumerist values.
Vero markets itself as the True Social Media Platform. It is smarter for you to socialize, share, connect and search for things that actually matter for you. In other words, Vero wants you to be your own life curator, in an ad-free environment.
However, Vero and other platforms alike, still face some curveballs, namely how to convince the consumer that by paying a monthly subscription, they will gain much more than a service, but a space to be their authentic, real selves.
What is the Future of Social Media?
As a business owner, you might think that Social Media will no longer serve a purpose for the near future, as more people will leave them, and consequently, as more money will need to be invested on paid media, in order to gain some level of visibility in an over-saturated environment.
Vero’s downfall only confirmed to us that the path towards adopting a more social type of platform is still far from being reached, though it will happen. Businesses and big corporations are still thriving on social media, and will continue to do so, insofar as the consumer shifts its way of using Social Media.
In conclusion, Social Media will not disappear, but evolve, perhaps moving backwards to its infancy, where we preferred to interact with our close circles, instead with brands and companies we follow. As a result, brands will need to adapt new ways to communicate and reach out to their targets, as they search for better, more authentic ways to connect with others. In other words, brands: stop putting yourself on a pedestal and start providing meaningful, personal user experiences for your consumer.
Although we like to entitle ourselves Digital Warlocks, we cannot entirely predict the future, but if you have read this far, then that mean that have not died of boredom.
What are your thoughts? Share with us!