Technology 3 min read

Has Social Media Reached its Peak?

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has reiterated his prediction that users would gradually move from the currently dominating social media networks toward more community-focused alternatives.

After nearly two decades of supremacy, social media networks may be past their prime. ¦ Shutterstock

After nearly two decades of supremacy, social media networks may be past their prime. ¦ Shutterstock

It’s getting harder and harder for social networks to attract and keep users. Now, younger people’s online habits consistently force the ecosystem to adapt.

In its Q4 2018 Earnings ReportTwitter once again reported a decline in total users of its platform. But, it’s not alone in this sticky situation.

The other two largest social media platforms, Facebook and Snapchat are also going through a rough patch with ongoing drops in active users.

Is this just a spot of bother or a much more serious problem?

Giant Social Networks Falling out of Favor

The shift in people’s online behavior is only one reason for the user exodus among social media platforms. Privacy concerns, data leaks, and the avalanche of fake news aren’t helping.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook lost 3 million of its daily active users in Europe quarter-over-quarter (from 282 to 279 million). The company also lost a record $119 billion of its market value in a single day, the biggest ever drop in stock market history.

For some experts, social networks have peaked, and Alexis Ohanian firmly believes so.

Ohanian might have a specific way to show love to his family that “would never go viral,” but the co-founder of Reddit knows a thing or two about social media.

Now a venture capitalist, Ohanian co-founded Reddit at the age of 22 at a time when social media was just a novelty.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Ohanian said:

“We’ve reached peak social media. I think platforms that are built around following individual persons sort of have reached their saturation point.”

Read More: Dead Social Media Platforms: Where Are They Now?

According to Ohanian, the tastes of people are no longer the same. Now, users prefer communally-oriented platforms.

“We’re seeing more and more people retreat back to smaller communities or groups, whether it’s a group chat of all your college friends or whether it’s going to communities”.

Reddit might be immune to the social media fallout due to its focus on community-focused platforms and user anonymity.

For Ohanian, Reddit is:

 “a network of communities—tens of thousands of them—for people to discuss whatever is most important, and vote up the best stuff and vote down the stuff that folks don’t like.”

Unlike Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, Reddit is attracting more and more users. Ohanian predicts many new platforms will follow the community-based model.

Ohanian finally noted that:

“We’re going to see more and more social platforms emerge that are built around these communities of interest as opposed to following individuals,”

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are far from dead. But, it may be time for them to significantly rethink their acquisition methods, especially in a time of saturated media.

Read More: Facebook to Face Multibillion-Dollar Fine From FTC

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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