Friday, August 19, 2011

Social Media Fatigue

Are you tired of using Social Networking Sites? Do you feel that joining a new Social Networking Site like Google + will not add value to you, but only waste your time?
Man is a social animal. The successful development of virtual communities that tapped into this social aspect of human beings took the world by storm. The collective power of entities such as Facebook is so huge that it can topple governments like it did in Egypt or build one like it did for Barack Obama. But have we got too much of Social Media?
There is a segment of people on social networking sites that is simply sick and tired of Facebook and Twitter. In a recent conversation with a friend he was of the opinion that "People are too Facebook oriented". Their conversation end with - "And now this goes on Facebook...Please click a pic for Facebook... Their life begins and ends with it. As if their entire existence depends on it or as if their life's goal had just been Facebook-ed."
But, there is a section of the online society that has been there and done all that nonsense. They are tired of doing the same mundane activity of Facebook everyday and certainly do not want another Social Networking Site. The implications aren't huge for current social networking sites, rather this fatigue keeps their user base safe from any predatory approaches of a new website. It is similar to Maslow's hierarchy where once you've reached self-esteem you want self-actualization. What this means is that there is a small market with a different set of un-catered needs that is developing and can be targeted. It consists of people who are simply tired of Facebook or any other social networking site. This has been proved by recent research also.
Gartner conducted a survey in December, 2010 and January, 2011 which comprised of more than 6000 social networking users from developing and developed markets. The research giant suggests that the users who were among the first and early adopters of the Social Media have started to experience fatigue and are visiting the social networking sites like Facebook let often.
Out the of the total 6000+ respondents, 24% stated that they are using the social sites less often compared to when they initial signed up, while 37% that comprised of particularly a younger and tech savvy group stated that they were using the sites more often compared to when they signed up.
How this new market will be tapped depends on the mix-mash ventures of the online world. Will this new product that will cater to people facing Social Media fatigue be only online or offline or a mixture of both? It is too soon to say, but a new idea can be worked on to tap this segment of market.