by Kristen Malzone The New York Times published an article today titled, "Social Media Era Set to Peak in 2012." This article was greatly influenced by the projections of Justin Kistner, Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing at Webtrends. Kistner parallels the lifespan of social media trends with the lifespan of Web 2.o trends. I agree with Kistner that there are many similarities between Web 2.0 and social media in respect to the way they have influenced the internet. But, the reality of the matter is that social media exists beyond the internet. Social media is not a trend, it is a communication revolution. (See: Socialnomics video)
Social media's lifespan could be determined more accurately if you were to compare it to a traditional communication method. Let's take the telephone for example. The telephone revolutionized the way we communicate. Before the telephone, communication was extremely difficult. Social media broke down communication barriers similar to the way the telephone did, but on a much greater level. The question is, how long will it take until the next big communication revolution? The social media revolution only just began, so I predict that its peak will be much farther in the future.
So, does social media have an expiration date? Maybe. But, we cannot gauge it against trends like web 2.0. Predictions like Kistner's are about as accurate as looking into a crystal ball and resisting the revolution is one of the biggest mistakes companies are making today.
What do you think? Will social media peak in 2012 or is it here for decades like the telephone? Please share your comments below.