#8 TRENDING IN Social Media 🔥

Social Media Competition: the Battle of the Platforms

social media

Wed, July 05

The world of social media only seems to be getting bigger and bigger, and with that come many apps and brands fighting tooth and nail to stay relevant by creating new features and updates to their apps that seem very similar to other apps. Companies like Instagram, Youtube, Tik Tok, and Facebook are all trying to stand out and answer the big questions that are on consumers' minds. What makes these features different than anyone else's? How will these advancements benefit consumers?

How Facebook Started

Back in the early 2000s, Facebook was the first social media app to hit the scene and for many years, even today, it reigned king as the most popular social media platform. Back then, it offered people many things they weren't used to, like the ability to create a platform online and share photos and special moments with family and friends from whom you could accept invites.

Which is what made Facebook so popular. It allowed people to connect with others regardless of where they were on a map and brought them more peers who had the same interests as them, which is what led to Facebook gaining 6 million users after only one year of the app being live.

Facebook Today

Today, Facebook has 2.16 billion users. Since then, it has added many new updates, like reels, where people can share music and video content, and other users can like and comment on the content, and stories, where users can share short videos and photos that are attached to their profile photos. Facebook has even come up with creative ways to appeal to different audiences, like Fantasy Games, where users can play a round of fantasy football or any other fantasy sport and compete against other users to predict the outcomes of sports events.

Users can create private and public leagues and share their picks with others in real-time. These new features have not just brought more users onto Facebook, but also have made people want to stay on the app and have turned Facebook more into a place that connects people who are absolute strangers but share common interests.

Instagram's Startup

Now let's get into Instagram. The app first came onto the scene in 2010. From the beginning, the main purpose of the app was to share photographs, mainly those taken on mobile devices. The photo and video-sharing app only took eight weeks for software engineers to develop before it was launched on the Apple operating system and in the span of two months, the application was able to gain 10 million users and in less than two years, Facebook(Meta) had bought the company for 1 billion in cash and stock.

Today, Instagram has 1.628 billion users with features like stories and now all videos posted on Instagram are posted as reels. You can also create a joint post where a post will appear on you and your collaborator's profiles. Users can now pin any post on their feed to the very top of their Instagram feed.

These features have made the app more interactive for consumers and given them more creative control. Instagram has now also switched from a chronological feed to a ranked feed and, since switching to a ranked feed, posts are now being seen by 50% more followers than they did with the chronological mode. This further expands the information and content users consume and it offers creators greater reach.

Rise of Tik Tok

TikTok was a newer app that came bursting onto the scene after another company bought the original version of the app known as Musically and did a full rebrand. That led to the app gaining 100 million users in its first year. Since the app's release, Tik Tok has become one of the fastest-growing social platforms, which has given them an influx of 1.06 billion monthly active users.

The main thing that attracted so many users to Tik Tok was the creator's ability to post a 30-60 second burst of content that could grasp people's attention and serve them content in such a short amount of time. It fed into people's short attention spans and allowed them to consume much more content in a shorter time frame.

Users began memorizing lyrics from certain songs and phrases just because of how often they were used on TikTok and many creators were even able to start careers and base their entire incomes off of making these videos. The rise in popularity of Tik Tok made many other brands eager to step their game up in the battle of social platforms. YouTube created shorts and Instagram and Facebook created reels which were their own spinoff versions of Tik Tok videos.

The consumer response to these features was different on every social platform. Some users claim they like Instagram reels, some claim they don't, and while Youtube shorts have had fewer positive reviews, many users that post these shorts appear to be gaining a lot of traction and views.

Youtubes Come Up

The downside of Tik Tok was that it made it harder for people to make connections with creators and their content. Most users would just engage in mindless scrolling, never really taking the time to get to know the person they are watching or inform themselves about the content they view. But when Youtube started incorporating short-form content into their app, it gave people the best of both words.

Consumers get to enjoy more content from the creators that they know and love, but just in shorter bite-sized pieces. When Youtube first started, it averaged 20 million users per month and it only offered users a general video-sharing site, which at the time was very appealing to viewers, because not many people had access to a site where they could find new sources of entertainment and share memories.

But over the years, YouTube's attempts to compete with other social platforms have been similar to what other apps have done, through the creation of Youtube stories where Youtube would allow creators with 10,000 subscribers or more to post behind-the-scenes videos, sort of like Instagram stories to share with their viewers. But on June 26th, 2023, Youtube removed the stories feature since the feature wasn't gaining a lot of traffic, and not many users seemed to appeal to the feature.

The main thing that people always loved about Youtube was its long-form content, but in their battle to stay relevant, it led to users being divided on whether or not they even liked Youtube's version of short-form content.

In the end, this endless rat race to see which social platform will be the most popular and have the most users will never end, because, in the world of tech, there will always be something better coming out. A better iPhone, better computers, better apps that say they can organize your entire life for you.

But despite that truth, one thing that will always keep people coming back to these apps, (even if there is something better around the corner), is people's ability to easily have human connections and relate and laugh and be inspired by different people. And each of these apps' own unique ways of facilitating these human connections is what makes being on them so transcendent for people.

Vaneti Ceus
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Writer since Jun, 2023 · 7 published articles

Vaneti Ceus, Is an incoming senior in high school, she is also currently a marketing intern and loves reading books and watching TV/Movies. She loves writing and is interested in further pursuing it as a career and is excited to further build her portfolio.