Reading this week that Microsoft have bought Linkedin http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36519766 got me thinking, what makes the global digital platform so powerful is the amount of choice we have. In every market, competition is healthy, it drives development and value and keeps businesses on their toes.
What we are rapidly approaching is a polarisation of social media, with two or three major players owning all of the platforms and whilst they pertain to be keeping them separate, there will clearly be a more strategic approach to growing all of these platforms. But what will this mean to the users, both individual and corporate?
Personally, I think in the short term, there will be little or no impact. However, in the medium term, as shareholders demand better financial performance, the lack of competition will lead to increased advertising and decreasing flexibility for the users. From a commercial perspective, there will be ever growing databases to target and with the evolution of technology, we will be able to be more and more accurate with who we target. But, I do believe that users will become increasingly frustrated and switch from using the main platforms and use smaller less know ones.
In the long term, the competition will still be there and as with all communication platforms, there will be an element of the latest trends driving use. However, I do think it will have a detrimental affect and reduce the effectiveness of the social platforms both for users and for businesses using them as marketing channels.
What do you think, is this the death of social media or is it the start of the next generation?