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The Shifting Sands of Social Media

June 30, 2011

Just when PR professionals think they’ve got a handle on the whole social media thing and are lining up to score, the goalposts move again.

In the last few days there’s been two events that have the potential to significantly shift the social media world yet again.

First and foremost, Google has released an invitation only preview of it’s social media platform Google+. This is undoubtedly a full frontal assault on Facebook.Many of it’s features are similar to Facebook however there is the introduction of a couple of very interesting and useful features.

Circles is based on the concept that in real life you have circles of friends. One of the great criticisms of Facebook and other social media sites is that, once you add someone to your network, they can see everything you share. In real life, most people have different conversations – and share different parts of themselves – depending on their circle of friends. Google+

Circles allows you to do this in the virtual world as well.

Hangouts is also potentially huge with users being encouraged to engage in video chats.

Google is very gun-shy about unleashing Google+ as a product, given it’s string of failures in the SM world however there is real potential for this to create a seismic shift in the landscape.

Mashable’s take on it can be found

The other big event is that News Corp has sold MySpace to an ad-targeting firm called Specific Media LLC for a reported $35M. This has got to be one of the worst business acquisitions of all-time given News Corp purchased it only 6 years ago for $580M.

It remains to be seen whether MySpace can recover to be, in the words of Specific Media CEO, Tim Vanderhook, “digital media company on par with Yahoo, AOL, Facebook and all the other big names out there.”

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