Nothing is Forever
The future of social media depends on how technology will advance. What will our devices look like in ten, twenty years? We seem to be trending towards larger screens with thin housing, less bulk. If this continues, I think photo and video dominated social platforms will become the majority, and hybrid text photo/video platforms will fade. Facebook and Twitter will either have to change dramatically or be left behind. The main photo-dominated platform is Instagram, there is some text, but only enough to describe the photo in the post. Instagram will be teetering on the fence of obsoleteness if photo and video platforms do indeed take over.
We have seen that Snapchat has begun to fade, not as many users, people seem to have had their fill of that platform. It may not be as popular, but it’ll probably hang around for a while because of the core fan base. Tik Tok will eventually follow in Snapchat’s footsteps. I think people will enjoy it fully, then realize they have gone about as far as they can with it. Tik Tok and Snapchat are glimpses of what the future of social media will look like, but they aren’t as organized or polished as they need to be in order to remain.
If my prediction is correct, Facebook will probably be the first to go. It is already far less popular than it used to be, I think that has to do with age and the fact that there are no more surprises. Facebook has been relatively the same since its creation in 2004. There have been small changes here and there, but the structure hasn’t shown significant adaptation. For instance, they don’t have a dark mode. Instagram has a dark mode, and they’re run by Facebook, so why hasn’t Facebook done so? Every major operating system has a system-wide dark mode-this is an example of how Facebook is lagging behind. If they keep this up, they’ll be gone in between ten and twenty years. Obviously, I could be wrong, but this is what I see happening.
As far as what social media will look like in thirty to forty years, it’s difficult to say. We may end up interacting with other people via hologram messages, augmented reality, virtual reality, and we’ll see using a phone or laptop for social media as a joke. Consider how we think about letters in the mail. People used to have pen pals and would send handwritten letters back and forth through standard mail. I’m assuming most social media users would think of pen pals as ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve heard one person, in the last five or so years, mention pen pals or their involvement in that activity.
Perhaps in 2050 we’ll think of using a smartphone to comment on our friend’s Facebook post as antiquated, in fact, I would bet on it. Not only do I bet on it, I hope it’s true. I want technology, and how we use it, to evolve by great leaps and bounds. I hope artificial intelligence will play a bigger and bigger part in our daily lives. We have quasi AI assistants now, but I think it should go much further. We could have AI that creates posts for us on social media based on what it knows about us and how we live. That world may seem scary to some, but I see it as exciting.