Social Media Trends: Competition

One of the social media trends, as previously mentioned, is overkill.  The social media proliferation refers not only to multiple gadgets on one site, or multiple sites from the same mother site (like the Twitter situation) but also to many sites in the same genre.  In other words, Youtube is not the only one of its kind.  In the video-sharing genre, as well as others, undoubtedly, websites are popping up at an unstoppable rate.  This serves to demonstrate the social media trend of everyone creating his or her own site no matter how many others like it already exist.

Now, rivalry can better business - indeed, it even protects consumers from unfair prices and monopolies.  And, of course, capitalist systems are built on the idea of multiple businesses existing in the same market in order to create opportunities for competition.  Competition refines products, forces companies to listen to their constituents lest they lose them to others in the same field and helps keep prices down.  But, do these things really apply in the social media world?  Signing up for a Twitter account, for example, does not show disloyalty to Facebook, nor does it exclude a user from holding two accounts simultaneously.  In fact, having multiple accounts - as many accounts as there are major social media networks, in fact - is strongly encouraged in the social media world.  It might even be considered another social media trend.

So, it isn't necessarily competition that is driving the rampant creation of social media sites that could all be considered to be in the same genre.  Social media users, however, are benefiting from the profusion of sites.  Savvy users will be aware of the many sites to choose from, and will recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each, and begin to pick and choose.  In the video world, for example, Youtube could be considered a free-for-all site.  Filmnet is for the more serious filmmakers that are yet on the amateur level.  Its resources seemed to be geared towards those just starting out - or wishing to break into - the field.

Other sites are for those with a portfolio ready to share with the world.  Shortfilms.com is a social media site for film makers that allows users to upload videos in any format, browse the sites' postings, create blogs and find community with others established in the film industry.  Following the social media trend of one-stop shopping, ShortFilms has all the trappings of a successful social media site (the ability to 'follow' and 'friend', create a profile and present sound-bite size status updates).

Openfilm.com advertises its site as strikingly similar to ShortFilms.  Users can post content, browse short films and find community.  This site additionally offers contests and live chats with leaders in the industry.  Clearly, this site is aimed at equal or higher level filmmakers than ShortFilms.  As the social media trends will teach us, instead of seeing businesses in the same field as yours as detrimental, see them as a way to aid you in defining and finding your niche within your market.

Photo Credit: Masternewmedia.org