The Future's Bright: The Future's Niche
Facebook – the all encompassing giant of social media seems untouchable at the moment. Even Google’s might couldn’t touch it in subscriber number terms. However, like Apple and Microsoft, the Beatles and the Stones, or even Daz and Persil – competition is good.
Of course, Twitter is competition, but a different sort of competition. It doesn’t offer the same breath as Facebook and so resigns itself to a different space in the social media sphere. One thing of interest however is the thought that the next social media revolution will be niche.
We’ve already seen an emergence of sites that cater for certain demographics. Pinterest for example has a certain popularity among women with disposable incomes and Instagram was loved by cool 20-somethings, well before Facebook made it uncool by trying to make it more inclusive.
The Livelihood Niche
However, expect social media to get a lot more insular and specific communities are set to become more popular. Currently, sites such as Fohboh – a social media site for those in the restaurant business and Social Moms – a site for stay at home mothers, are becoming increasingly talked about. These are sites essentially that reflect what a person is and so have a certain emotional appeal that for instance Facebook may not have. People’s livelihoods are important to them and such sites create that sense of community, larger sites can’t. Essentially these sites are slightly more social than the likes of Linkedin, though more professional in their take on things than Facebook.
On the other side of things are the websites that provide a social element for lifestyle. These sites provide a different dynamic to the work and industry related niche sites. From your interests, to your current passion, love or ambition – there’s a social media site of this ilk for you.
One fine example is DailyBurn – a site for those trying to lose weight. This social media site is a logical place for those who want to shed the pounds to go – community support, tips and essentially a common interest.
One the other end of the scale, hot new restaurants are found, discussed and dissected by the public through the niche restaurant site Foodspotting. The passion of foodies is something unparalleled and Foodspotting encompasses this.
As is quite evident from a lot of these more niche sites, they are quite like the forums, or chat rooms of old – just organised in a more user friendly manner.
Relevance and Engagement
Think of how many people you’re friends with on Facebook as opposed to the numbers you interact with. Niche sites bring back a certain relevance to social media that can be missing mean you’re more inclined to engage with a higher percentage of people on site as you’ve more in common. Relevance, engagement and community – this is what such sites are about.
One thing for sure is, don’t be too surprised if you see the more popular of these sites added as plug-ins to you social media sites. However before we get to such a global stage, there are a number of issues such sites pose.
For example having such a small, niche subject or topic can mean fresh content can be an issue – making engagement that little bit harder. These niche social media sites also suffer simply because they’re just that – niche. Being niche means you’re not going to interest everyone and in a world where sites compete with everything from TV to radio to other social media for time, this can be a significant factor. Essentially, this leads to the revenue issue. With niche interest the revenue chain can be limited meaning development and upkeep can be a struggle.