The nature of the new tools coming out in the social media space shows that the world is changing. Not too long ago, Twitter was the domain of insiders, and the term “MySpace refugee,” the result of the migration to Facebook, had not yet entered the cultural lexicon. In garages across the country, new social media platforms were being developed and launched … and they had a fighting chance at survival. The change in innovation, however, indicates that we’re entering a new phase in the social media evolution.
What got me started on this? I was recently introduced to Threadsy, which is still in beta. This tool integrates your e-mail, Facebook and Twitter accounts into a single inbox. I’m not crazy about it (remember: it’s still in testing), but the message it conveys, however unintentionally, is clear: there are plenty of platforms, and it’s time to make managing them easier. The fact that you can use HootSuite to publish to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress (a utility also available through Posterous) reinforces the notion that the market for platforms is crowded.
The shift tells us that social media is leaving its startup period and is now maturing. Facebook has more than 400 million users. Twitter is over 100 million. People aren’t shy about using multiple platforms – the number of people adopting makes it a necessity. So, if you have to be in several places at once, keeping it all straight is the challenge. Account aggregation and management is the next big wave in social media – helping you use a single set of tools to get all your content out as efficiently and effectively as possible.