It’s inevitable that the social networking platforms that we’ve come to rely on have also evolved past being purely social gathering places. Hey these are businesses, and as they have become publicly owned and traded entities, the focus necessarily becomes profit. So, I guess it could be worse – we could have to actually pay for the true value that we enjoy by participating. I wonder, what would we be willing to pay for the privilege? (Rhetorical question.)

I imagine that the visionaries that conceived of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat etc., etc. had grand plans for these social platforms to grow into advertising cash cows, right from the very start. Now, take a look at where we are. Facebook is such an attractive media platform that it will be soon hosting news stories directly from journalistic sources like NBC News and The New York Times (see article here.)

And, interestingly, it seems that even with a certain amount of backlash and negative sentiment toward every new change and turn, Facebook gains more and more credibility as a media source. Just look at how Twitter, which in my opinion is a much more efficient platform for direct engagement, is struggling to gain attention with advertisers and build its own image as a media (news and entertainment) source (see article here.) And, Twitter is taking another shot at aligning with Google for including Twitter content in Google search results, thereby expanding tweets’ influence outside of it’s proprietary boundary.

It is a fascinating turn, that social media channels are catching up to (perhaps overtaking) blogs’ and websites’ pre-eminance as news-ish sources on the internet. And the latest? AOL’s merger with Verizon, and the race for the Holy Grail of advertising eminence: Mobile.

Q1) How is ‘media’ overtaking ‘social’ on traditional social media platforms?

Q2) If it works for music streaming, can premium subscription service work for social networking sites?

Q3) How does hosting journalistic content, like direct news stories, affect social networking’s appeal to consumers? To advertisers?

Q4) As media destinations, how will social networking sites change how they ‘feed’ content to consumers?

Q5) What, in your opinion, is the long-term goal for social networks like Facebook and Twitter?