Just by it’s very nature, social media is fast-moving. Viral content spreads rapidly but is tempered by the fickle, ADHD readers that consume it: what is hot now might not be hot in a week/day/hour. We get busy. We get bored. We lose interest.
Well, the same is true for the platforms themselves. Social media platforms are also memes.
Look no further than the litany of flash-in-the-pan platforms that had the world all a-Twitter before slipping into obscurity or getting gobbled up by a larger company.
MySpace, for example is hardly worth mentioning in a scholarly discussion of social media except for the fact that it used to be the largest social network just a couple of years ago. Everyone was on it. And now? I, ahem, think I still have an account…
And remember — long before Zynga’s Farmville — when everyone was obsessed with JAMDAT Bowling? Well, I do. The company quickly went public and was acquired by Electronic Arts for almost $700 million — it’s now the successful mobile arm of Electronic Arts, EA Mobile.
Del.icio.us and Digg — the platforms once lauded as the go-to solution for social bookmarking and website sharing have all but evaporated for the mainstream user who opts to post articles to Facebook. And speaking of Facebook, the giant gorilla in the room, walloping the competition: will location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Loopt be able to compete with Facebook Places?
Even the mighty can fall (again, look at MySpace) — will Facebook be overtaken by another social media platform? What social media platforms are the next flash-in-the-pan? Which ones have the real staying potential?