The era of social media has officially arrived. It was born with the creation of Friendster, grew up through the era of MySpace, and entered into adulthood with the behemoth of the industry, Facebook. However even beyond Facebook many younger generations are turning towards new platforms of social media such as Snapchat and Instagram. However just as the era of social media has grown, so have its critics. Now the proponents of social media claim it allows for people to stay in touch with their friends and family (also it means you have an automatic reminder for birthdays). Many critics have seized upon a host of issues with social media such as their privacy settings, harassment policies and even their use of target ads to gain revenue.
However among these debates over whether social media is a boon or a bane there lies another debate. Whether social media is real. Sure, it allows you to see that amazing party your friend attended last week but in reality, was that party awesome or did they just stage one awesome photo? What would your friend look like without those Instagram filters and editing? This belief grew as social media became more and more mainstream and people started paying more and more attention to their content and posts. This debate has spurred and driven social media forward as users have continuously sought to have a feeling of authenticity. This is why Facebook’s unlimited text posts were usurped by Twitter’s 140 characters. You couldn’t lie in 140 characters, it was short, simple, pure, real, and authentic. However, Twitter too began to fall as Instagram brought the power of photos into people’s hands once again seeming more real and more authentic (although Instagram’s dominance was blunted by its sale to Facebook). Then Snapchat arrived, with its limited time and disappearing photos, combined masterfully with the ever-evolving story feature combined the authenticity of photos with another factor of appeal, the present. Changing who you were on social media was impossible when your photos only lasted a few seconds and your story disappeared in 24 hours. And in response Snapchat now dominates among younger users as the social media of choice.
Now I tend to usually stand more in the critic camp of social media than the support, however, looking at the trend I can’t but be a little optimistic about where social media is heading. Sure, Snapchat has a lot of issues with it and how it’s used in my opinion. However, if the goal is real authentic social interactions online, Snapchat is a hell of a lot closer than Facebook was when it came out. That’s why I think that although Snapchat is an improvement and may be the new King of social media, its reign will probably end, and I think I know who will bring it down. beme. Taking its name from the phrase “be me” this new social media app recently ended its beta stage and launched an Android app to counter it’s earlier App Store release. Launched by Casey Neistat and Matt Hackett beme uses a lot of innovative techniques to make sharing experiences more natural. The goal is, as the company puts it, “Share video. Honestly”. If you are a fan of social media, and want to see it become more authentic and real I highly recommend you check out beme either here or here and see what the future of social media has to offer.