By Edward Balassanian, CEO & Founder, Strings Media Inc.
It’s safe to say that 2018 has been a year of transition and change for the world of social media. We’ve seen popular networks scrutinized for negligent practices in the care of people’s data, as well as overall fatigue with the social media content people interact with on a daily basis.
From rallying cries and hashtags to delete your accounts, to regular news headlines pointing out gaps of the social media landscape, it’s clear social media users are calling for change. We here at Strings like to call this current shift an evolution from social 1.0 to social 2.0, a new way of publishing and socializing content online.
Making a case for social 2.0
In the world of social 1.0, people are stuck interacting with scattered posts across timelines, mixed in with disparate topics, making it difficult to understand a bigger story being told by any one user. With these fragmented messages, it’s tough to appreciate the uniqueness of what social media was originally designed for – sharing stories and content while connecting with each other online.
As well, social 1.0 has turned unsuspecting users into publishers, making the content we post take on another life without our knowledge or consent to its use. What we intend to be seen by family, friends and followers is the vehicle by which advertisements are delivered to any number of non-curated audiences. The social 1.0 media platform “publishes” our content, placing it alongside advertising that may not be relevant or align with our opinions or beliefs, and at the end of the day, we (users) have no control over that content.
In contast, social 2.0 will give a clear delineation between three parties; publisher, advertiser and consumer, giving full control to each. It will enable people to tell individual stories more effectively. While the world of social media still has to put in a great deal of work to right the ship, so to speak, and successfully evolve to social 2.0, it’s also important to remember the positive aspects of social media. These are the fundamentals that led to the original rise in popularity.
Fundamental #1 – Ability to share stories
When social media first kicked off, the appeal was instant. Why? Because it gave us the ability to share our stories, interests and novelties with the people we cared about, in as little or as great detail as we desired. What’s more, it provided an interactive channel to learn more about the topics we’re interested in. Storytelling was the initial attraction.
Fundamental #2 – Sense of community
In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love and a feeling of belonging are essential components of a human’s psychological needs. At its core, social media helped people feel included, as they were instantly connected with communities of interest. By giving people the ability to not only stay in touch with friends and family around the world, but to also discover individuals who also share the same interests and likes, social media created a number of new online communities like never before.
Fundamental #3 – Control over social profiles
Social media provided each of us the opportunity to create and control a social profile that revolved around us, highlighting the best parts of our lives and our creativity, hobbies and opinions. Think back to early examples of social 1.0 – the Xanga blog and MySpace, even the early iterations of Facebook. These platforms were designed to feature different aspects of our social identities, all in one place and with an audience, most commonly friends and family. Fast forward ten years and that control has slipped away from users, as the need to create revenue opportunities and monetize the social 1.0 model usurped users’ control.
Like all transformations, true change requires doing away with the aspects that are no longer working, analyzing the fundamentals and bringing in innovative and fresh components to give it new life. As we move into a social 2.0 context, we at Strings are excited to take the fundamentals of social media – storytelling, community and control – and make the experience 10 times better.
By giving control back to users in terms of the content they publish, the audience they socialize with and control over how their content is monetized, we believe the world of social media can take on a new approach. At Strings, we envision giving Stringers a new way to publish social content that gives both users and publishers the ability to create and control that content via their Strings and gives publishers control over the advertisers that partner with their String, ensuring complete curation throughout. We hope you come and String along with us!