There are a handful of new social media tools, channels and applications that could be giving way to newer ways in which consumers connect. Not just to one another, but to brands as well. One thing is becoming increasingly clear, startups are coming up with new and fascinating things to do with technology and it is making its way into a newer way to think about how we're all connected. Here are three new(ish) tools as a bellwether towards new(ish) thinking:
- Cleanse. According to The Next Web article, FaceWash helps you remove profanities from your Facebook profile, FaceWash is like like the soap that your parents used to stick into your mouth when you said something naughty as a kid. Only, with FaceWash, your mouth is Facebook and the soap (FaceWash) will clean up not only your bad language but those that have posted on your timeline as well. As the search and the social graph becomes an area of focus for Facebook, "FaceWash finds and helps you remove profanities from your Facebook profile. After connecting your Facebook account, the site scans comments posted on your wall, photos you're tagged in, photos you've posted, links you've liked, status updates and more for offensive content. Everything from 'xxx' to 'butt' will be flagged, and you can then find and delete offending posts if you are so inclined. In case you're looking out for something specific, the app also features a search bar for finding any post containing a specified term," according to the article. The ability to manage and cleanse your social media profile is going to continue to be an area of importance for consumers as they both mature and better understand the ramifications of their ability to be a media channel unto themselves. Pushing this trend forward will be the increase in influence marketing. Areas like Klout and tools of social scoring will drive the need for consumers to have tools like FaceWash to help them better manage their online personas as they blur ever-closer to their physical lives.
- Match Game. Doing something online and then moving it into the physical world is blurring at an increasingly faster pace. There is a new dating app called Tinder, that is capturing a lot of attention. According to the Business Insider article, There Is Now A Socially Acceptable Way To Call Someone Ugly Or Attractive, And It's Sweeping College Campuses: "It's more or less a socially acceptable, mobile version of Hot or Not. If you saw The Social Network, you might remember 'Face Mash,' the product Mark Zuckerberg made before Facebook. It takes people's photos and lets other people quickly say if they find the person attractive or unattractive. But Tinder is Hot or Not or Face Mash with a purpose. Instead of rating people for cruel amusement, it helps you find single people you're attracted to in your area. If you're attracted to them, and they're attracted to you, both parties are notified. If one of you is attracted and the other isn't, neither is notified. And of course, if both parties don't' find each other attractive, they both go on their ways, never knowing what the other thinks." This power of this trend could lead to search losing a little bit of its traditional steam as contextual content is matched with location and immediacy. While Tinder may only be the tip of the iceberg, just thinking about the ability to leverage location and mobile with a level of user-directed context will open up a whole new industry within the digital media sphere.
- Impermanence. Snapchat continues to grow in popularity. Snapchat allows users to send each other photos that are only viewable for a short period of time and then destroyed. Like a message sent from IMF to field agents in Mission: Impossible, the content self-destructs. You can read more about this trend here: The Impermanent Internet, but it seems like more and more people don't need the Internet and their mobile devices to be like elephants (remembering everything). They could very well live happily ever after with tools that allow them to stay connected without leaving a trail or hogging up space on a hard drive somewhere. While many are pointing to Snapchat as the leader in this newfound interest in impermanence, this trend has been growing since streaming services like Netflix and Spotify have entered the fray. More and more consumers want content, but they don't necessarily feel the need to store it and keep it. Simply having access to it when needed (and gone when not) is serving a powerful purpose.
There are more.
The buzz around stuff like "big data," "wearable technology" and more continues to grow as well. There is no doubt that more disruption is on the way, but what marked the above trends is how different they are from the social Web as we imagined it only a few years ago. The idea that people will go back and scrub their online social media ways or choose context and location over taking the time to do a deep search and ponder the results, coupled with a desire to have a very impermanent form of communication runs counter-cyclical to what many of the major media pundits had forecasted. There is no question, that these same pundits got a lot of their thinking right, but it's more interesting to see what we, cumulatively, as a society seem to latch on to and hold dear.
What are some of the newer trends that have surprised you?