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Is “Social Media” Dying?

By December 13, 2011Opinion


It’s been a couple of days since the LeWeb conference finished here in Paris, and I’ve been mulling over all of the things that I want to write a post on. This is one of the things.

Attending LeWeb has made me think even more that social media is dead. Before you all tell me how wrong you think I am, read a few of my posts on the future of social media. I’ve written quite a bit on this topic. When I say that social media is dead, in no way do I mean that social media tools we use are dead. My belief is that social media is a buzzword, and nothing more. The best of the services that the term “social media” encompasses will remain, but once the social media hype wears off, lots will fail. Anyway, attending LeWeb confirmed my belief simply because of the lack of times I heard the term “social media” spoken on stage and in conversations.

When I last attended LeWeb two years ago, in 2009, everyone was talking about social media. There was hardly a speaker that didn’t mention social media, and it was said in almost every conversation I had with people. This time, that most definitely wasn’t the case. People were instead talking about “social media” products, but not the buzzword.

This, in my opinion, is a great sign. It signals that “social media” the buzzword is already beginning to die off, and perhaps without a financial collapse along with it. I used to think that when the social media buzz wore off, lots of “social media” companies would fail and there would be a tech sector “recession” along with them. It may be too early to say, but I may have been wrong about a financial collapse in the tech sector along with the collapse of the term social media. Although, it is worth noting that people at LeWeb are usually a couple of years ahead of the mainstream tech industry, and so the mainstream social media collapse could still occur.

To me, the contrast between the talk about social media two years ago and this year was very surprising. It was like something missing that I expected everyone to be talking about. But I’m incredibly happy that they weren’t talking about social media. It gives us time without a mere buzzword to talk about the things in social media that actually are important – the services themselves.

Anyway, I’d like this to start a conversation about the future of social media. My view is quite clear, I believe – that the term social media will die, but the best “social media” services will survive. But what do you all think?