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You're Reading:The Social Media World Is Shaking!

The Social Media World Is Shaking!

by Tasos

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Mar 17, 2022

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Crazy Business Predictions & SOS Platforms

A lot is going on lately in the social media landscape. People’s needs changed, new networks entered the market, and other platforms lost some of their market shares.

And a lot is going on in the world.

We had been locked down for good during the last 2 years and as a result, the majority of brands that did not have any presence online, invested heavily in the web and social media marketing.

More people started using social networks due to isolation and platforms like Zoom or Skype experienced tremendous growth.

We witnessed the rise of social audio platforms like Clubhouse or LockerRoom that gave a new, more personal, dimension to social activities.

Also, what is happening right now in the economy, politics, sciences, and the military operations in Ukraine and other countries around the globe play a role too.

And I believe something big is about to happen.

So, let’s examine some facts first and I’ll share my thoughts and concerns next.

The Social Media World is Shaking

the social media world is shaking

Designed with Desygner

Facts, Rumors, Statistics

This is the news that got my attention during the last month or so. Let’s examine them carefully before we make a prediction.

According to Recode Vox, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin signed a new law that threatens up to 15 years in jail for Russians who post “fake news” about the invasion, and the government has already arrested thousands of anti-war protesters.

The author of the article highlights:

The Russian government said it would block Instagram, expanding its social media crackdown that had already cut off access to Facebook and restricted Twitter for the tens of millions of people in the country who use these apps daily. 

NetBlocks metrics confirmed the restriction of Instagram in Russia from the night of Sunday 13 March 2022. The incident follows the earlier restriction of Twitter and Facebook as Russia cracks down on international social media platforms after its invasion of Ukraine.

netblocks instagram isp research

NPR mentions…

Russian authorities called for Facebook parent Meta to be labeled an extremist organization and said they would restrict access to its Instagram app after the social media giant said it would temporarily permit some calls for violence against Russian soldiers.

Russian regulators already have banned access to Facebook in the country. 

Update: March 18, 2022.

NDTV reported that Russian regulators on Friday accused US tech giant Google and its video subsidiary YouTube of “terrorist” activities, the first step towards a possible access ban.

Russia has already blocked access to other global tech giants including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as several independent media.

On March 10, Reuters said…

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.

On February 28, Fortune reported that SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced Sunday that the company’s Starlink satellite internet service had expanded coverage to Ukraine, potentially providing the government with an alternative secure communications uplink as Ukraine’s military continues to resist invading Russian forces.

On March 05, Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer at SpaceX, tweeted something very interesting…

Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access coverage to most of the Earth.

Also, there are rumors on social media that Russia is building a new internet infrastructure and disconnecting its civilians from the already established underwater cable network.

3 days ago BBC published an article discussing which companies are pulling out of Russia.

McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Heineken are the latest companies to announce they are halting business in Russia after mounting pressure to act.

Retail giants like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder, tech companies like Samsung, Apple, consultancy firms, oil and gas firms, entertainment companies like Netflix, payment giants like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, car-makers like General Motors, and so many more.

SkyNews reported that…

Donald Trump is aiming to make a social media comeback by starting his own app – after being booted off mainstream platforms last year.

The app, which allows users to post and share a “truth” as they would a tweet, has launched on Apple’s App Store.

Truth Social has been touted as America’s “Big Tent” social media platform that encourages free speech without discriminating against political ideology.

I discovered a very intersting list of ellected officials suspended or banned from social media platforms on Ballotpedia.

Another list that may get you thinking can be found on TheWrap website, 21 famous people who have been banned from Twitter. 

Statista reports…

On the day of its launch, social media app Truth Social saw approximately 175 thousand downloads from users in the United States. The app, which as of March 4, 2022, was only available via the Apple App Store, saw around 17 thousand downloads on March 3, 2022.

The AppStore informs that…

The app Truth Social has 42,000 ratings. It gets a 4.2/5 stars rating.

On Feb 03, CNBC reported that…

Shares of Facebook parent Meta closed down more than 26% Thursday after the company forecasted weaker-than-expected revenue growth in the next quarter. It also said it’s taking a big hit from Apple’s privacy changes, and showed the first quarterly decline in daily active users on record.

Facebook lost more than $232 billion in value.

I discovered Meta’s stock market graph on Yahoo Finance.

meta facebook nasdaq feb 02 2022

In October 2021, Facebook went offline for 6 hours or so.

On October 04, 2021, TheVerge reported that Facebook said in a blog post Monday night that the six-hour outage that took it offline, along with Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp, and OculusVR, was the result of a configuration change to its routers — not of a hack or attempt to get at user data. While the initial explanation didn’t really explain things, a subsequent blog post on Tuesday went into way more detail, saying that the outage was due to a routine maintenance mistake that basically disconnected Facebook’s datacenters from the internet.

There were rumors that Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, deleted his Twitter account and dumped $400 million in stock.

USA Today reports that while Bancel has deleted his Twitter account, it’s misleading at best to say he “dumped” $400 million in stock. Bancel has sold shares of Moderna every few days since at least 2019, and the tally only reaches $400 million if you add together the hundreds of transactions over that span. 

On Mar 04, 2022, Reuters reported that Google suspends all ad sales in Russia as censorship demands grow.

We have to note down that on Dec 24, 2021, EuroNews reported that Russia has hit tech giants Google and Meta with huge fines over their failure to delete content banned by local law.

It fined Google nearly $100 million (€88.4 million) and Facebook’s parent company Meta $27 million (€23.9 million) as it stepped up pressure on the internet companies.

EnGadget reports on Mar 01 that Google is the latest to join the growing list of tech companies blocking access to Russian state media across Europe. In a tweet, the company has revealed that it’s blocking YouTube channels connected  to RT and Sputnik in Europe.

The author continues…

Facebook restricted access to the state-owned media outlets across the EU a few days ago after it removed their ability to monetize their pages with ads. Twitter halted ads in Ukraine and Russia, as well, “to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.” Microsoft followed suit, banning the publications from its ad network, pulling their news apps from the Windows store and de-ranking them in Bing’s search results. Google started downranking results from the outlets in 2017, though it’s unclear if that has changed over the years. Earlier, TikTok also made the RT and Sputnik accounts inaccessible to audiences within the EU.

Notice: I can’t access Russian news sites on Google, YouTube, and a host of other web properties.

On Mar 11, Fox5Atlanta reported that DuckDuckGo’s CEO announced on Twitter that the company has “down-ranked” several websites associated with Russian disinformation amid its invasion of Ukraine. It’s a search engine.

According to Backlinko, Telegram’s user base has been growing at a rate of more than 40% each year since its launch in 2013. Telegram is a freeware, cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging service. 

telegram-users-over-time-backlinko

On Feb 03, BusinessInsider reported that Facebook lost roughly 1 million daily active users between Q3 and Q4 of 2021, according to its earnings report.

This is the first time it has ever reported a decline in user numbers.

According to Wikipedia, this is a list of social platforms with at least 100 million monthly active users. The list includes social networks, as well as online forumsphoto and video sharing platforms, messaging and VoIP apps.

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. What’sApp
  4. Messenger
  5. Instagram
  6. WeChat
  7. TikTok
  8. Douyin
  9. Telegram
  10. QQ
  11. SnapChat
  12. Weibo
  13. Qzone
  14. Kuaishou
  15. Pinterest
  16. Reddit
  17. Twitter
  18. Quora
  19. Skype
  20. Tieba
  21. Viber
  22. LinkedIn
  23. Teams
  24. imo
  25. Line
  26. Picsart
  27. Likee
  28. Discord
  29. Twitch
  30. Stack Exchange

The most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2022, ranked by number of monthly active users, according to Statista:

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. What’sApp
  4. Instagram
  5. Weixin/WeChat
  6. TikTok
  7. Facebook messenger
  8. Douyin
  9. QQ
  10. Sina Weibo
  11. Kuaishou
  12. Snapchat
  13. Telegram
  14. Pinterest
  15. Twitter
  16. Reddit
  17. Quora
statista most popular social networks 2022

SmartInsights shares some interesting data.

This chart shows the total number of Internet users showing that whilst 61.8% of the world’s population are internet users, 4.2% are still not active social media users, which suggests opportunities for future growth.

Digital-media-around-the-world-2022

On the same page, they share a special report by DataReportal in July 2020, that examines changes in social media usage during the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown period. Notably a monumental increase in online and digital activities.

covid-19 report Increase-in-online-activities

A survey run by SocialMediaToday, shows that social media users are increasingly concerned about data privacy.

Some of the key findings:

  • 81% of people are more concerned about their social privacy than they were last year
  • 53% of social media users create unique passwords for each of their accounts
  • 69% have deleted or thought of deleting a social media account because of recent social media data breaches

The DigitalInformationWorld reported that consumers are getting irritated by promotional content and they illustrate the most annoying types of digital ads.

SurveyMonkey mentions that 74% of people are tired of social media ads – but they’re effective.

The author continues…

Even though the ads often perform well, they aren’t necessarily providing users with a good experience.

Users often say they’re overwhelming, repetitive, and irrelevant. To give you a more detailed picture of users’ opinions, see the breakdown below:

  • Nearly 3 out of every 4 users (74%) think there are too many ads. The number grows to 78% for adults 35+ years old.
  • 63% of users say they only see a few things advertised, over and over again.
  • 44% of users find the ads irrelevant to their wants and needs. For those 35 and older, the number balloons to 51%.  

As marketers continue to invest in ads on social, is there anything they can do to boost the consumers’ experience?

Something huge is going to happen!

Social media is an ever-evolving landscape where predictions are very hard.

But let’s analyze the facts and the statistics.

Users are very concerned about their data privacy and they are willing to stop using a network if they don’t feel secure.

Also, users are getting annoyed by the countless ads they are forced to watch on the majority of networks, ads that are irrelevant to their preferences most of the time.

Facebook had been fined by the FTC over data leak, the Cambridge Analytica scandal. As a result, users lost their faith in the most popular social network.

It got also fined by Russian regulators.

We discovered that Facebook has witnessed its first decline in user numbers as it lost 1 million daily active users for the first time in the company’s history.

I also experienced a decline in Facebook’s advertising platform’s ability to send quality traffic to my properties lately.

I’m experiencing slow loading times on the Facebook platform and there are many people in my county and other countries that experience the same problem.

So, I’m wondering…was this 6-hour outage that Facebook and its children platforms experienced in October 2021 a router misconfiguration? Was that really the reason? Or is something else going on behind the scenes?

If we add the sanctions from and to Russia, things are getting very unstable for Facebook and Instagram.

How exactly is the social colossus going to respond? How are they going to deal with the lost market share and the subsequent loss of revenue?

What are Russia’s regulators’ next moves? 

Are there other countries that are going to tighten their rules about data privacy as well?

Some people believe that the newly released social app TruthSocial by Donald Trump will play a dominant role very soon.

Also, Twitter and Pinterest are not that popular anymore.

New channels like TikTok, Snapchat, and Telegram show signs of growth.

Another platform that has gained popularity recently is Signal, a cross-platform centralized encrypted instant messaging service. I believe they have a bright future because encryption has become extremely important for all internet users. Have in mind that there is a huge number of people that can’t be expressed freely due to social media censorship. 

What is happening with the internet cables and the military operations will have a huge impact on the social media world going forward.

Also, if we don’t recover fast from the economic recession, we’ll have to deal with even bigger problems. Social media companies will get affected too. We’re all in this together, it’s a universal problem, so there’s only a universal solution.

The World Is In Pain

In a previous article, I discussed that we lost our direction.

The signs are clear, people are suffering. Society, economy, science, politics, religion, entertainment & media, all institutions and values are constantly being shaken.

I recommend that you read this article to get a better feel of what is happening right now. 

It’s entitled “How to impact the world as an entrepreneur”.

Epilogue

So, should I make a prediction?

The social media platforms that provide the best user experience will enjoy growth. Some platforms show signs that the end-user is not their #1 priority, and these platforms will suffer.

But I want to add something even more important.

The latest economic and not only recession changed our lives dramatically, we live on the edge. Actually, it’s a political, economic, social, religious, and scientific crisis. It’s a critical point in time, and we are about to witness even bigger changes. That’s inevitable.

What’s your point of view? Which platforms are going to dominate the social media landscape?

That’s it, another article has finished, here on Web Market Support. I am waiting for your comments and thoughts. Till next time.

Tasos Perte Tzortzis

Tasos Perte Tzortzis

Marketing Consultant, Creator of the "7 Ideals" Methodology

Although doing traditional business offline since 1992, I fell in love with online marketing in late 2014 and have helped hundreds of brands sell more of their products and services. Founder of WebMarketSupport, Muvimag, SummerDream.

I enjoy reading, arts, science, chess, coffee, swimming, Audi, and playing with my kids.

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