This may be a premature question. Or perhaps not. Social media has been a thing…a big thing for now.
Here is a brief history organized by Chat GPC
The history of social media can be traced back to the 1970s when the first online bulletin board systems (BBS) were developed. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s and early 2000s that social media began to take shape as we know it today. Here is a brief overview of some of the key milestones and companies involved:
1 SixDegrees.com: Launched in 1997, SixDegrees.com was the first social networking site to gain significant traction. It allowed users to create profiles, list their friends, and send messages to one another.
2 Friendster: Launched in 2002, Friendster was one of the first social networking sites to use the term “social networking.” It gained popularity in Southeast Asia but failed to compete with Facebook and Myspace in the US.
3 Myspace: Launched in 2003, Myspace quickly became the most popular social networking site in the world. It allowed users to create customizable profiles and share music, videos, and other content. However, it was overtaken by Facebook in 2008 and never recovered its dominant position.
4 Facebook: Launched in 2004, Facebook was initially only available to Harvard students but quickly expanded to other universities and, eventually, the public. It quickly became the dominant social networking site, with over 2.9 billion active users as of 2021.
5 Twitter: Launched in 2006, Twitter allows users to post short, 140-character messages called “tweets.” It has become a popular platform for breaking news, political commentary, and celebrity gossip.
6 LinkedIn: Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows users to create profiles, connect with colleagues and peers, and find job opportunities.
7 Snapchat: Launched in 2011, Snapchat allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a set amount of time. It has become popular with younger users and has been credited with popularizing the “Stories” format now used by other social media platforms.
8 TikTok: Launched in 2016, TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to create short, music-focused videos. It has become extremely popular with younger users and has been credited with launching several viral dance and meme trends.
In addition to these successful social media companies, numerous others have failed or faded into obscurity over the years. These include:
- FriendFeed: A social networking site launched in 2007 that was acquired by Facebook in 2009 and eventually shut down.
- Google+: A social networking site launched by Google in 2011 that was intended to compete with Facebook but has yet to gain significant traction. It was shut down in 2019.
- Vine: A video-sharing app launched in 2013 that allowed users to create short, looping videos. It was acquired by Twitter in 2012 and shut down in 2017.
- Ello: A social networking site launched in 2014 that gained attention for its ad-free, privacy-focused approach. However, it failed to gain widespread adoption and has since become a platform for artists and creators.
- Meerkat: A live-streaming app launched in 2015 that gained attention during the 2015 South by Southwest festival but was overtaken by Periscope (acquired by Twitter) and eventually shut down.
Society has always revolted against too much of anything. Social media is the poster child for “too much.”
Too much teenage addiction; too much self-esteem comparative shopping; too much dumbing down of America; too much data sharing to our number one geopolitical competitor.
The revolt is already in play. Our 25-year-old daughter grew up with her brain glued to Instagram. Now she does not even have an account. Why? She grew up and out of the hell of it.
MLM coaches have made tens of millions by teaching people to build their empires by posting on social every day. It used to work for those with entertainment or educational media skills. It does not work anymore except in the rarest of cases.
Just like Fax on Demand, Robo-dialing and Mass Mailings of cassette tapes do not work anymore. (Yes, those were very big things)
Every cycle has its peak, and the fall comes as fast as the rise.
Could the US government accelerate the demise of social selling? Perhaps. Our elected officials are sure to make a run at it. You can take a deep dive here.
Perhaps the greatest threat to Social Selling is AI. We are rapidly falling into the paradigm of zero trust. What do you do when you know for a fact you cannot trust anything you see on social media? What do you do when photos and videos of people endorsing products are fake? What do you do when videos of famous people promoting a product are proven counterfeit? What do you do when the beautiful people promoting products are not even real people but computer-generated drones?
You know what you will do.
You will no longer trust. When trust is lost, Social Selling is dead in the water, the freshest layer of garbage piled on top of fax machines, robo-dialers, and cassette duplication machines.
Regardless of the cycles of fads, there is one method of marketing that created Direct Selling and still rules.
One real live person that you know (warm market) telling you an authentic story about a product they love. This authentic Word of Mouth Marketing is the most trusted form of marketing; it is universally duplicatable and is, in fact, the method that built this 100-billion-dollar profession.
Whether you earn a profit doing it or not, humans have been telling stories of passion for thousands of years. It is how our cultures have survived and grown exponentially. This will never change.
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