People stopped sharing.
“34% of Facebook users updated their status, and 37% shared their own photos, down from 50% and 59%, respectively, in the same period a year earlier.”
Or as Michael Wolf put it in his monster WSJ slide show…
“Messaging will blow past social networks as the dominant media activity.”
Turns out throwing your vitals, your hobbies, your irrelevancies, into the ether is ultimately ungratifying. At first you get caught up in the hoopla, but when you realize no one’s reacting, no one really cares, you stop.
We’ve seen it again and again in the internet sphere.
Remember when everybody was gonna have a blog?
And then there was Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat…
They’re all fads. People have a fantasy others care, but they don’t. And once you’re disabused of the notion that everybody’s waiting for your words and pics of wisdom, you stop playing.
Meaning those enterprises that are built upon the efforts of the crowd, that supply infrastructure and nothing more, are doomed. It’s all about content. And the best content is not that created by nobodies, but pros. Why do you think YouTube is challenged and starting to charge? There’s no money in everybody’s home movies!
Yes, Facebook just reported stellar numbers. Give the company credit for moving quickly to mobile and doing a good job of selling space to advertisers. But we’ve seen advertising costs plummet around the web, will they plummet on Facebook? Is amassing eyeballs upon bogus content the future of the internet?
That’s why we have linkbait, so companies can generate impressions that they can sell to advertisers. But the rates keep going down because the ads make no impression, people ignore them if they don’t block them entirely.
Which is what Apple allows you to do on iOS. Users are thrilled, outlets basing their revenues on advertising are not. And then there’s PewDiePie, the king of the aforementioned YouTube, who claims that 40% of YouTubers block all ads. (http://bit.ly/1LFvbs3)
Making Apple once again the smartest enterprise on the planet. Knowing that there has to be a there there, and you gain advantage by establishing trust with your customers, as opposed to employing subterfuge and selling their data.
But the dropping posts on Facebook prove that everybody is not a star. That the wild west atmosphere of the internet is a phase. And as things solidify, cyberspace resembles the rest of society… There’s a very thin layer of superstars/winners, a small class who believe the low barrier to entry means they can win the lottery, while the rest have checked out and are interacting one to one and consuming when they’re not.
Same as it ever was. Passivity reigns. TV never became interactive and the websites built on this premise, that if you build it they will come and spew their data and make you rich, is flawed too.
You can’t control the customer. And what the customer has said again and again is not only will he gravitate to free, his allegiance is temporary at best. You’ve got to create a product worth paying for and continue to improve it otherwise you’ll be passed by.
So, those who create visual content professionally are still in good shape. As are the news titans. They’ve just got to wait out the chaos, as the major labels did in the music business.
Remember, the majors were gonna die. But now they’re even more powerful than before, because of their relationships. In an era of chaos, they’re the only ones who can gain traction on a product!
So Wall Street is behind the times, not as lost as the government, but clueless as to what’s coming down the pike. Anybody who used a mobile device knew that BlackBerry was toast, but Wall Street propped it up for years, and believed theoretical comebacks, even though we know it’s impossible for classic rockers to have another hit, hell, Robin Thicke may never have another hit!
The big wheel keeps on turning.
We’re a nation of grazers, not builders. We don’t want to waste too much effort constructing that which will not pay dividends.
So we talk to our friends and click through to the greats.
Facebook may end up being a primary destination, but housing the efforts of its users will yield diminishing returns. It’s all about first class content.
“Forbes” let the lunatics into the asylum, letting everyman post, and it ruined their brand, never mind their financials.
HBO skims only the biggest talent and scores big in subscribers.
Because we don’t want to waste time on nobodies, only stars.
And the truth is there are very few of them.
And you’re not one of them.