What Is Next For Social Networking?
We may officially be able to call an end to classifying social networks as “trends” or “novelties.” These days they are a firmly entrenched reality in our professional and personal lives. Google vs. Facebook is a slugfest that has long eclipsed Microsoft vs. Apple (and is up there with Apple vs. Samsung and the pantheon of Android manufacturers). Pinterest went from online distraction to offering business accounts within 3 years. Zuckerberg lost somewhere between $7 and $9 BILLION and is still one of the richest kids on the block (he’s not even 30 yet!). With Social Networks being the new media reality, let’s take a look into the greatest changes to watch in the near future:
Graph Search: How Facebook Might Change Search as We Know It
With the tremendous size and scope of Facebook – 1 billion users – the search capabilities have not easily scaled up with the tremendous growth of the network. That could be changing with Graph Search. Facebook already has the infrastructure it needs for such an undertaking. It has an organic map of relationships between us and all of our interests and knowledge. Turning this into a reality has taken years but Facebook is on the verge of making it widely available. Though Graph Search is not a fully featured search engine, Facebook already accounts for about 1 in 5 internet page views and thus is already stealing Google’s thunder. Google has been predictably dismissive of Graph Search (though not giving away anything about its treasured algorithms), but it does have one publicly-announced ace up its sleeve:
Google Author Rank: Why Google+ Will Matter More
Social networking is absolutely not just relegated to the common Joe. Almost every public figure and authority has a presence on the network and, like the rest of us, keeps company with similar people, though unlike most of us these figures tend to have a massive list of subscribers. Google’s new Author Rank adjustment ties Google rankings to the burgeoning Google+ network. A piece of content will appear in the search rankings with input determined by the “credibility” of the author as determined by the contents of the social network – and that social network will be Google+. This has massive implications for SEO and also means that Google+ can no longer be dismissed as “just like Facbook.”
In essence, anyone striving for a digital media presence must be prepared to cover all bases and more, as the social network reality and new media will continue to be both a central part of our lives as well as a moving target.