In the constantly turning cogs of society, old, outdated technology will always be replaced by a more modern and more efficient version of itself. In the case of social media, it’s about which platform can provide the most transparency, the most engaging among likeminded communities, and the most capable at providing constant information without taking up too much of your precious time.
That’s why platforms like Instagram and Twitter are so successful these days, especially with the key younger demographic. There’s a constant stream of information without there being too much information, transparency in the form of celebrities and news outlets showcasing life behind-the-scenes, and provide easy access for individuals with similar ideas to connect.
Above all else, transparency is the most redeeming trait to come out of social media. Rather than having to call customer service, customers can now make their comments heard online; and not just for the company to see, but for the whole community of followers who also like or follow that page.
On another end of the spectrum, gawking fans are now presented with exclusive looks into the lives of their favorite celebrities and can even interact with them, if that celebrity is engaging enough on social media.
It’s transparency that’s helped social media reach astounding heights, and it’s transparency that has made the Periscope app one of the fastest-growing in the history of social media.
According to AdWeek,….
“Periscope revealed that it has crossed the 10-million-user threshold in less than five months since launching the app, a considerable achievement for a social media idea–mobile livestreaming–that was barely a ‘thing’ until recently.”
But wait, there’s more…
“People are watching approximately 40 years worth of livestreaming footage every day on Periscope. That’s the equivalent of 21 million minutes every 24 hours.”
In the first 10 days of its launch, Periscope had already acquired a staggering 1 million users.
Periscope’s unbelievable access can be attributed to its transparency, going even further than image-based platforms such as Instagram to showcase life behind-the-scenes. I’ll provide a personal example of this. This radio show I listen to in the late afternoon has recently been doing Periscope’s of the production team behind the show during commercials.
Did I ever have any interest in this beforehand? No. In fact, I’m not learning anything behind the technical aspect of things. I’m just watching a video of four producers cracking jokes and getting ready for the next segment. It’s hardly interesting, yet I’m entranced watching the people I listen to on the radio and what they do during breaks.
Just think about when you see police set up a perimeter on the road and block off a section. There’s a reason why everybody slows down and it’s not because of a change in the traffic lanes. It’s because we’re curious in what’s happening behind doors that we cannot see.
Periscope opens the door. It opens the door and gives you a guided tour. While Instagram provides you with pictures and short videos, Periscope grabs you by the hand and tells you, “Come and see what life is like behind-the-scenes and without filters or edits.”
Not to be outdone by Periscope is Pinterest, which stands in a class of its own in social media because of its uniqueness.
Pop quiz: Why do people use Facebook? Aside from staying connected with friends and family (those that you can’t bear to talk on the phone or hang out in public with, at least) and boasting your accomplishments and vacations, it’s also used to showcase who you are and what you’re interested in.
Pinterest has taken that idea and made it an entire social media platform. With Pinterest, you can create ‘Pin-boards’, which are boards for any user to see what you’re interested in. You make ‘Pins’ by selecting a product or vacation spot you see and then posting it to your board, often into a category as Pinterest allows you to have multiple ‘Pin-boards’, such as ‘Vacation Spots’ or ‘DIY’ or ‘Favorite Foods’.
The site was launched in 2010 and now takes in “nearly 2.5 billion page views and about five million daily article pins.” Although the majority of its users are women at the moment, the gap is steadily decreasing and countries such as India and China are actually near a 50/50 split.
What’s most impressive is its growth, which GrowthDevil.com attributes to its unique, exclusive signing-up process, linking with Facebook, and easy usability once signed-up.
We have our own theory. Pinterest’s uniqueness is magnified by it reversing transparency, putting the spotlight on its users, rather than brands and celebrities. With ‘Pin-boards’, users can show off their personal interests and create relationships with others that have similar interests, which is why ‘Re-pinning’ exists to establish communal ties.
Pinterest has also become an indirect advertising ground for businesses:
“Pinterest users were bouncing from Pinterest to company websites at a rate almost seven times higher than they were in 2001. In face, the Shareaholic study reports that 5% of all traffic to the 300,000 websites came from Pinterest.”
And it’s only going to continue growing…
“The number of Pinterest users more than doubled in the second half of 2014…in the last six months of 2014, active users increased by 111%, and members increased by 57%.”
Pinterest and Periscope represent two platforms that found new ways to enhance transparency; Pinterest reversing it, Periscope broadening it even further.
Could this represent the future of social media? Social media has already opened up new avenues into just how open we want to be with ourselves interacting with strangers. Periscope takes that to a completely new level by actually showing how life is like without a filter, while Pinterest simply puts all of your interests and ideals on coded corkboards.
Either way, transparency is definitely going to be the driving factor.