Yes, social network Facebook does have the largest number of users - 1.35 billion. But other social networks are growing faster. They include Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Here is the coverage of those developments by Ingrid Lunden at Tech Crunch.
Clearly social networks are fragmenting. A big part of that is simple boredom. I have had it with likes, being notified of zillions of birthdays, the same-old inspirational spins from the same-olds, and all those ads on Facebook. Now what will thought leaders, marketers and public relations representatives do to transmit advocacy and commercial messages?
There will be more segmentation of whom to reach. Thought leaders might decide, for example, to restrict the reach-out to Baby Boomers and Generation X. They will present to them the need for radical saving in America. Already as a Baby Boomer I have shifted from the spending part of the continuum to squeezing a penny until it hurts. For that, they would stick with Facebook. Research and experience show that is the social network for age groups beyond Millennials and Generation Z.
And/or there will be configuring different messages for very different demonographics and different social networks. That will create more work, including for us free agents in communications. Now, help-wanted ads read: Prepare content for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Increasingly, added to that will be a laundry list of other networks. The message for each can't be identical - or generic.
Those who have acquired the hang of niche marketing and communications will thrive. Those who lack the energy and imagination to parachute into myriad sandboxes, providing just the right "toys" to get attention, won't have a prayer.
One more thing: Why in the world are marketers and PR reps still cranking out whitepapers! Home-publishing an e-book with the right graphics is the only way to do that kind of job. Give your target segements the gift this season of no more white papers. And take me off your mailing list for them.