Bernard Moon’s post forecasts a “dark period” for social networks. He points out that the novelty of user experience wears off quickly. Even Club Penguin is suffering as 8 year olds migrate to fresher venues.
As the attention deficit economy putters along to the latest eye candy, social networks need to embrace new content strategies to remain interesting. The question is whether the current crop of social networks can innovate their way towards relevance.
There are two trends that counter Moon’s gloomy mood. The first is a boom in real time media. This research report reveals some drivers that are more, um, discreet.
“WebCam total market forecasts indicate that there is strong growth from a number of segments. The pornographic WebCam market is more hidden from analysts than the other segments, but it is a lively part of the market. The Internet revenue started with porn and continues to benefit from this aspect of use. Because of the relative anonymous aspects of viewing sites, there is usage that might not occur otherwise.”
The other immutable trend is the opening up walled gardens with APIs from Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and others. Data aggregators, data miners, and marketers love this stuff. That’s what’s propelling the next round of social media investment. Barring any unexpected results, it just may work.