From the downfall of Vine to the rise of TikTok, the content-creating world has seen drastic switches when it comes to different platforms. Platforms that have been on top of the game for a long time, such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, are constantly renewing their policies and updating their user interface in order to stay relevant. In 2016, Twitter was forced to shut down Vine after it failed to adapt to its rivals’ advancements. Yes! Twitter used to own Vine. Being one of the sole video-based apps that resulted in the emergence of music stars such as Shawn Mendez was forced to shut down because the company was basically unable to “keep up.”
In the unpredictable world of social media platforms, it also depends on its most popular creators to “carry the show.” In 2018, Kylie Jenner’s negative tweets about Snapchat’s redesign made the company lose $1.8 billion in stocks.
Ads, Unbearable Ads
Some of the common reasons for social media platforms to lose their popularity are entangled with how each user perceives the platform. For instance, advertisements on Instagram are becoming recurrent as the app relies on ad marketing for revenue among other things.
The ad problem is real on YouTube. In a video-based app where streaming without ads is impossible for free users, YouTube has taken a hit. This is where TikTok comes in the win yet again.
Reaching a Wider Audience to Stay Afloat
Big companies like Instagram try to stay relevant by introducing the same features as their fellow competitors.
Just like the “My Story,” feature was quickly launched by Instagram after its friend Snapchat gained popularity based on it. TikTok has also contributed to inspiring other platforms to introduce new features. The “For You” page algorithm of TikTok allows it to show you content that is relevant to you. The For You page shows videos that are like the ones you have previously liked or engaged with by commenting.
This new feature allows Instagram to reach millions of users who are not part of TikTok’s user demographic. TikTok users mostly consist of Gen Z and younger millennials whereas Instagram has users across age groups.
Doing the most is never good
When the Facebook app tried to introduce a bunch of features like its marketplace, video calls, video streaming, and video calls. It became too complicated for its own users. This made Facebook users switch to Instagram. Notably, around the time my parents decided to create an Instagram account.
Reminder for Content Creators
Social media is never going away. It will keep on evolving around our needs for digital socializing. The main thing to remember for creators is to focus on their brand image. Your status on the platform is irrelevant. If you have an audience that is loyal to you and not the platform, guide them to follow you on personal blogs and websites to keep your popularity as a creator safe. In case of platform die-out or a “platform whiplash,” creators need to be ready by staying up-to-date with the market’s news. There are a few tips to avoid losing an audience in case of a platform whiplash but that’s a story for another day.
Feature Image by Jeremy Bezanger from UNSPLASH.COM