The Shift In Social Media: Social Graph To Interest Graph
Social media as we know it is taking a major shift from what it initially started out to be which was a place to connect or re-connect with people you already knew in real life online and basically keep tabs on developments in their life by creeping around on their Facebook wall. As fun as that use to be you’ll notice that today your Facebook news-feed consist more of brand messages, the latest social issue and funny memes more than pictures of your friends dog that has a weird ,fuzzy yet cute mustache. It’s a fundamental shift in the culture of social, moving from the social graph towards the “interest graph” where people want to connect and congregate with not necessarily “friends” but people with shared interest, even if that interest is simply the season finale of The Big Bang Theory.
In the early days, we used social media as mainly the place you go to talk to and joke around with friends when you left them at school or work. You went home and before warming up Sunday’s leftovers you were on Facebook checking up on friends, creeping on your ex’s wall and laughing at pics of them and their new partner, then the laughter turned into tears and an hour session on YouTube listening to love songs by Ne-Yo and I’m straying here. In essence you simply wanted to see what was going on with your friends in the after hours of school and work. Nowadays your friends aren’t that interesting anymore and your over your ex.
The rising social networks such as Twitter and Pinterest are taking advantage of this new interest graph and are building growing and engaging user bases in the high millions. So these days when the new episode of Suits or Bad Girls Club your huddled up to the tv with phone in hand ready to discuss the happenings with not just your friends but anybody who shows interest in the show as well and you communicate and gather around a topic through hashtags, on pinterest you gather around an interest through pinterest boards (fun fact: take off the “p” from pinterest and you get “interest”)
As with all things, nothing ever remains the same for too long, they change and evolve, and social media is evolving into an interest based mobile experience.