Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had something nagging at me: is the ever-increasing number of social platforms becoming too much? Every week there seems to be a new tool, or a new button, or a new method of connecting being launched. And I can’t help but feel that it’s getting silly, that it’s only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down on us.
Take this last couple of weeks: Google +1, the new Twitter follow button, Twitter photo sharing, Sprout Social, the spectacular growth of Tumblr, the rise and rise of Instagram…I’m sure I’ve missed some important stuff there. The pace of development is insane and, quite simply, isn’t sustainable. And it appears I’m not alone in this view. Yesterday I read a great post by Marc Meyer that highlighted a brilliant quote from an MSNBC article: “When everything’s social, nothing is”. In other words, when something new and exciting and original and interesting becomes the norm, it’s no longer new and exciting and original and interesting. As Marc himself asks: “Is there a tipping point looming here where eventually everyone tires of being so social?”
I agree with Marc. It makes total sense. Back in January I predicted that social media is reaching saturation point and that 2011 would see consolidation across platforms. Remember the hype surrounding Diaspora last year? Remember Path? Well, I have may have been a little ahead of the game on that one as there are no signs yet that the expansion is slowing or that Marc’s ‘tipping point’ is on the horizon. But whether in 2011 or 2012 or even 2013, it’s coming. It has to.
This viewpoint would seem to go completely against another area of my thinking at the present time; that which has led to the #NoSearch project. This experiment relies on social networks and being connected to their collective knowledge and opinions. And it doesn’t really add up to state in one breath that there’s a crash coming where we get sick of sharing our photos, locations and thoughts together with what music we’re listening to, films we’re watching and articles we’re reading, and in the next breath talk about how social platforms could replace search engines. But maybe that’s the point? Maybe this social over-exposure is, in fact, the crux of the whole issue? Is it about time we all fine-tuned which platforms we use, who we connect with and what we share?
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