Until recently, nobody disputed Facebook’s dominance. The once untouchable social media juggernaut has been plagued by a slew of charges regarding its privacy practices and other forms of questionable conduct. Less than a year ago, Facebook (FB) suffered a staggering loss of $119 billion in a single day. At its zenith, Facebook was valued at $611.56 billion. While the stock has recovered markedly since the mid-2018 crisis, it is still playing catch up.
Millions of users have quit Facebook according to Edison Research (15 million fewer users in 2018 compared to 2017). Rather than leaving social media entirely, analysts believe that people are switching affiliation from one social engagement platform to another. Other popular options include Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. Throughout, a shift has taken place in the type of engagement options that users are choosing. Video is rapidly replacing text messaging and social media platforms are making accommodations for this.
This begs the question: Where will society be placing its trust with social media networks?
Video is really booming in social media
It comes as no surprise that video chat is the most engaging and immersive form of multimedia online communication. It incorporates a treasure trove of elements including audio + visual content in a secure, HD feed. The use of video functionality has blossomed in recent years, thanks to dramatic improvements in global Internet connectivity and accessibility. Social media apps now showcase the finest video streaming technology of our time, and things are only getting better.
The relevance of Reddit
The key components of social media are the social element and the media coverage. Reddit is one of the most popular platforms in the world, with a top 10 ranking in the US. This platform serves as a forum for anything its members want to talk about. Each of the little communities are known as subreddits, and there are at least 1 million of them covering different topics.
People can engage with fellow community members all over the world in real time. While the community guidelines attempt to instill a sense of structure among members, there are few safeguards, and little moderation of user activity. This makes it a less than ideal place for safe interactions and a daunting prospect for young, old, or impressionable minds.
Organic or doctored video content?
The failure of many social media platforms to guard against hate speech, improper content, or lack of authenticity is certainly something to be concerned about. And then of course there are the ranking social media platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok and even Instagram which actively promote the use of video content, with all sorts of special effects.
While users certainly enjoy tinkering with filters, lenses, colors, hues, saturation, animation, and special effects, there is a lot to be said for authentic online communications in the form of video content. By using video as the primary medium of communication, several up-and-coming social media sites are cutting a swathe with audiences around the world. It’s worth pointing out why video is booming in social media:
- Smartphones and tablets are ideally suited to HD video functionality
- 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity make excellent quality video chat possible
- Video technology is cost efficient, able to scale, and designed for interactive communications
- Video guarantees an authentic communication experience in real-time (seeing is believing?)
- Human beings crave face-to-face communication & that’s precisely what video provides
- Video conferencing is ideal for business and personal use, with real-time sharing of news, updates, announcements, or simple chitchat
The tech aficionados, designers, and developers, realize the incredible potential inherent in video streaming technology. As a case in point, Say LLC, the creators of Say: Share Together! have crafted a powerful interactive video-streaming app for Android and iOS devices. Unlike traditional communication mediums like text messaging, bulletin boards and other advertisement-laden social media platforms, this one allows safe and ad-free video messaging, with authentic face-to-face connections, and HD video communications between users.
The technology has advanced to the point that it is possible to connect with just 2 users, or dozens of people simultaneously. With video messaging, it’s easy to keep friends and families up-to-date with real-time broadcasts, or recorded video communications. People have come to realize that the impersonal nature of text messaging does not serve these treasured relationships well. For this reason, developers are pouring tremendous effort into creating user-friendly options for face-to-face communication.
Millennials driving the video boom
A study by Vonage claims there has been a 175% uptick in regular ‘live video usage’ over the past 3 years. Millennials are driving this change, with some 25% of young folks regularly enjoying video chat on a daily basis. Upwards of 40% of people aged 35 – 54 use video chat, and 25% of those older than 55 enjoy video chatting more than they did a year ago. Clearly, the numbers support the facts. Mobile functionality now dominates laptop and desktop users as the primary hardware for video calling at 68%. When quizzed about why video chat functionality is so popular, the majority of respondents simply had this to say: “… It creates a more personal experience compared to other channels.”