The continuing evolution of social media


Just as society is evolving, so is social media. In fact, many would argue that social media is pushing changes in society almost as quickly mobile technology. (Sounds like a good book!) Social media has gone through four definitive stages and we are neck deep in the fifth.

  1. Facebook – With 1.23 billion users, Facebook established people sharing their identity. It’s who you are. This was the gateway drug for the masses to get them on social media.
  2. Twitter (mobile) – This text-based medium was used to socialize the experience. Twitter is used to share what you’re doing or going to do. It’s referred to intent-based marketing.   
  3. Pinterest – Pinterest is the fastest growing website ever and probably the last big web company. (We’re still waiting on the first big mobile company and I was hoping it would be Yahoo but that may not happen.) Pinterest also signaled the rise of the visual web. The vast majority of content viewed online is images or video.
  4. Instagram (mobile) – Once users got used to sharing experiences (Twitter) and sharing visual content (Pinterest), they began to visualize + socialize the experience.
  5. Snapchat + WhatsApp – digital communication becomes the default. 75% of Snapchat users are under 25 and they’ve grown up with social media. They’ve had a lot of experience with creating/sharing digital content publicly and now it has made its way into their day-to-day communications.

I’m curious to see what the next phase will is!

By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently interested in artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and tattooing.