Social media can be one of the fastest ways to communicate, share content, and from a company standpoint make millions. However, those who have failed with social media networks all have one thing in common, user ability and function. From a user’s point of view a social media site needs to be easy to join; most sites now allow a user to click Facebook account and all the data is immediately uploaded. For social sites that require an extensive questionnaire list and multiple steps in completing the initial set-up may have found that this distracts the user just enough to disengage the sign up.
Navigation is key to succeed
Any new site that is trying to surpass its competitors should create an easy navigation throughout the website. Sites like Orkut and FriendFeed require a user to have ample internet knowledge in order to really utilize the site’s options. Most users will find the tricky interfacing frustrating and leave.
Apple’s short lived social site, Ping, appeared to have good intentions; however if you did not own one of their products, you were immediately not eligible to use the site. Furthermore if your music selection was of bad taste, that would also deter any user friendly connection. The Hub created by Wal-Mart is another example of limited use and relied on its popularity too much on the brand itself. The idea was to attract teens to the site and post the brands found at Wal-Mart and suggest how they helped the teens. However, one of the sign up requirements was to have your account approved by the teen’s parents. Any parents dream for sure but this turned many users away, not to mention how others in the peer group looked down at Wal-Mart as a knock off brand.
Selling out before buying in
Facebook and Twitter are two good examples for social media sites that relied on popularity before adding branding or advertisers to their sites. Other sites used the reverse tactic and this would cause a user to become skeptical of the site’s true intention. Also for a “free” social media site to gain any search engine rank they must create an equal balance of paid users and those who solely flock to the site out of preference. If a social media site comes to the vast competition of the internet flooded with paid ads; search engines and new users alike will most likely not opt-in.
Keeping up with technology
If a site does not offer the latest linking, video, app, or something that is on the mainstream; chances are the users will lose interest. The technology aspect of social sites is perhaps the backbone to its longevity. Google+ may recognize this and thus their video chat option is what keeps them a float at the moment. In the end, social media junkies want easy-to-use sites that offer a multitude of technology options whether they are on their Andrioid or iPhone and not to be bombarded with distracting ads.