In today's environment we see new social media platforms popping up all around us. It seems my kids are alerting me of a new platform every week. I welcome the innnovation and competition but how are those new platforms gaining new followers, curating content, doing all the things that most rely on the more predominate platforms do (that a lot of people today rely on even if they don't know it). Having said that, do we actually want the "corporate-owned gated community" to tell us what we can and can't say or post. When stated like that, no. But maybe there is a world for both.
Those of us in marketing and communications regularly advise clients on which platform is best to get their message out, to tell their story and to do so in a safe environment. One that will grow their brand and gain customer satisfaction. A known platform has the followers, has the security wanted, and brings the most interesting posts to its users based on patterns. That benefits companies today.
I understand the notion of wanting to be free of any censorship or bias to what content we see and in my personal life, I want to be able to have that freedom. But I also don't want to have to worry about all the behind the scenes that some of these new platforms now require their end users to focus on (use and navigation, security, storage, sifting through content I want nothing to do with).
So where as the idea of decentralized social platforms is exciting and brings great promise, there will be some big hurdles for them and until then, I will take my platforms run by giants. If possible to have both, there is great potential and as professional communicators, we need to keep an eye on this space in order to continue to advise our clients of possible opportunities for them in the future.
The idea is to return to the good old days of the early '90’s web, when users published content directly in a user-friendly decentralized fashion, without the need for corporate intermediaries and their aspirational approach.