Social media platforms are constantly being made and evolving into new and different ways to connect. Creating a platform that will “stick” is not an easy feat. There are certain characteristics that help make big name social media platforms such as Facebook popular with all age groups. Here are some of the qualities that help social platforms stand the test of time.
There has to Be a Need.
When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he wanted to change the way people communicated; he saw a need and set out to change it. Instagram came out of a need for a new way to share and discover photos. The social media apps that rule the industry all serve individual, unique purposes that made them feel new and exciting to users. However, at the foundation they all have one thing in common- communication.
People are social creatures; we need to talk with other people about what is happening in our lives and in the world. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube and even Google + all give users the ability to communicate with someone in the same room or on the other side of the world. Social media apps are networking apps at their core. The best apps thrive because of their simple and clean designs that make sending and receiving messages, pictures or videos as easy as a simple click.
Avenue to Express Opinions/Thoughts
Building upon their ability to allow users to communicate, popular social media apps have the ability to broadcast opinions, thoughts, concerns and questions. You can be experiencing something in your personal life, add a hashtag to it and then other people who can relate to that hashtag will be able to find and communicate with your profile. Social media apps are amphitheaters in your hand; you can say one thing and it will reach a limitless number of people in seconds.
Social networks that have the capability for users to bring other people in helps with their popularity. Whether it’s an invitation to join the platform itself, or a groups within the network, users want to have some power in their hands. Think of how much easier it was to get messages to the appropriate people when Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups were released; communicating with your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, etc. became so much easier and more efficient.
Social media websites and apps that can build upon themselves and grow with the times are the most successful. Facebook has changed so much from its initial design to incorporate new features, algorithms and functions. Apps and websites need to be able to meet the ever-changing needs of their users. If they can’t they will end up failing within months of their release. And it’s not like they need to reinvent the wheel each time; simply adding a feature to put funny filters on your pictures changes the usage for your app or creating a new button to mark that you have tried a product gives your users something new and interesting to interact with. After all, the main reason social media is here is for the users benefit.