Have we reached peak social?
Is our love affair with the shiny new toy ebbing?
There are some warning signs.
Facebook has just seen a 24% drop in average time spent on site.
That’s not a blip.
It is a big warning sign.
I spend a lot of time on social media.
It’s become a micro-habit.
And that is not unusual for about 3 billion of us.
We upload photos on our travels, reveal corners and moments of our daily lives to friends and family.
We play with Snapchat and create virtual noses and ears.
And we keep logging in.
A lot of the design of the social platforms is created around building addiction.
Mobile phone alerts are part of that.
I don’t about you but I have switched them all off. I don’t need a reminder to waste time.
I can do “that” all by myself.
But for me social media is also an integral part of my business.
I use it to share content. That includes blog posts, insights and 280 word tweets.
I use social media to drive traffic and awareness.
But my love affair with Facebook started fading around 2013 when it started removing the distribution it had been giving away for free.
It’s become the the Grinch that stole Xmas.
Just for the money.
It became all about business.
Even friends I used to see in the stream have been banished to the Siberian section of Facebook’s universe.
Maybe it’s the naughty corner.
It has used the algorithms to force you to pay for almost any attention if you have a business page.
It has just became an advertising platform.
Kept taking without giving.
Google is another matter.
It allows you to earn attention.
Free traffic from organic search results rewards those that create great content. It gives back to those of us that produce a rewarding user experience.
YouTube as a parent of Google is still growing. Because you can “earn” attention if you are prepared to do the work, create your best work and content and build a tribe of followers and subscribers.
And they even share advertising revenue.
Twitter has reduced its organic reach but even it still rewards those with free organic traffic when you share content and tweets.
It is also a “news breaker” and that is a bit harder to throttle.
I am sure zero organic reach was considered in a Twitter team meeting but it decided not to get too greedy.
Earning attention on Facebook is like viral traffic.
Good if you can get it but highly unlikely.
Maybe it is also because we have had our fill.
Its been a great 10 years.
But Facebook is not disappearing anytime soon.
But a 24% reduction in time spent is not an aberration.
And I am sure there is a lot of soul searching happening in Facebook HQ.
Will they start rewarding those users that create the content it uses for free?
I am not sure that will happen. But it would be good.
But social media, marketing and business growth in a digital world is not just about one channel.
It’s time to get back to basics.
Take out a bit of insurance.
Create the best content you can, work on your SEO, build your email list and build real communities and networks.