While Facebook might have close to one billion users and dominates the social media market share today, new specialized social networks are starting to gain some momentum. Their position in social media might be considered negligible in terms of popularity, but that may very well be the intent. Because they provide more exclusive platforms, these new companies keep memberships lower in numbers, yet high in the quality of their targeted niches.
While it might be sometime before an individual threat to Facebook emerges, these new social platforms could decrease the company’s market share collectively in the near future. The precedent is simple. Facebook is an enormous and often overwhelming platform that might intimidate or overwhelm some users. Instead, the users of these smaller platforms might be more keen on interacting with others that share the same ideals, status, or interests, and could find more value in these smaller, specific groups. This differs from Facebook in that a user isn’t necessarily connected to a general population, but to a smaller, more intimate segment in some aspect of the user’s life.
By identifying “gaps” in the market, new social media companies offer users other platforms to network in many different capacities. Companies like SumZero that connects professional investors, or Best of All Worlds, an invitation only platform aimed at finding leaders in industries, are just a couple of these new specialized social media newbies that focus on specific niches. Platforms like Salamworld goes beyond status and professional identities, and focuses on religion,
As the social media industry develops, it’s not uncommon for new companies or concepts to fall apart. It will be interesting to see how well these niche companies succeed, and if people want to specify their social media interactivity. Only time will tell if these niche platforms will eventually pose a direct threat to Facebook.