Social network usage is exclusive

2020-01-07 2 min read

    I remember the day when there were dozens of social networks with people hopping from one to another. These days it feels that there are only four: Facebook, Instagram (I’m explicitly separating it out from Facebook), Twitter, and Snapchat. This is a very US view and I realize there are tons of niche ones but at this point it feels as if those constitute the bulk of usage. More importantly, and this is pure speculation, it seems as if you pick a random person and look at their social network usage it’s very likely they’re spending the majority, if not all of their time, in only one of those networks.

    It used to be the case that each network was novel and people were exploring each one. This market is now mature and most people have gravitated to the one that works for them. Of course we still respond to notifications and passively engage on the other networks but we each have our favorite that we spend the majority of time on. Mine is Twitter - I like the fast pace, the quick access to news, and the ability to quickly engage with a wide audience. Others may prefer the purely visual nature of Instagram while others want the ephemeral privacy offered by Snapchat. And everyone else is a Facebook user.

    It’s tough to think of another social network as popular as the above but TikTok seems to be doing phenomenally well and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is busy at work in their garage on an app that will appeal to a new human nature.