In the last year, users have turned to social sharing platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram to share bite-sized snacks of content, while relying on blogs to enable longer forms of communication and self-expression. For bloggers, having a plethora of tools to publish, promote, and distribute work has only enhanced the value of their personal corners of the Web.
“For bloggers all of these tools serve as channels—new ways
to get their word out...”
In the last year, users have turned to social sharing platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram to share bite-sized snacks of content, while relying on blogs to enable longer forms of communication and self-expression. In one sense, it’s become the equivalent of a social media full meal.
But, as if on cue, online Cassandras meet this growth in social sites with various visions of social media death. Are these newer tools Twitter-killers? The “next Facebook?” The sign of end-times for blogs? The short answer is no.
When looking at the data about how these new sharing platforms play, particularly with blogs, it’s more accurate to consider them all to be a blogger’s best friend. Here’s why: For bloggers all of these tools serve as channels—new ways to get their word out to new audiences. Or sometimes to the same audience, but at a different time and place. Emerging sharing sites join Facebook and Twitter as new, fruitful ways for bloggers to offer an amuse-bouche that entices readers to come to their blog for the full meal.
The move, particularly from text and link-sharing to image-based sharing, has also worked wonders for blogs. In fact, Pinterest is now the number one social traffic referrer to my company—more than Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon combined. Even with all these great tools, and their growing user bases, comScore Media Metrix shows that blogs have steadily grown their audience 15% year over year for the last two years.
That’s because, from baby showers to brilliant quotes, these social sharing platforms represent self-expression writ small. And, as these new tools grow, the blog’s role has developed accordingly. Blogs are now the place for more substantive conversation and more detailed information.
Taking a long view of media, TV didn’t kill radio or the movies. The Internet hasn’t killed TV. Traditional media companies have migrated online, and for that matter even we native online companies have to now migrate to mobile.
I’m not saying it’s an easy business. Business models are being dragged kicking and screaming into this brave, new world, but users are still showing up. And it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, online sites like Twitter and GetGlue are bolstering engagement with traditional broadcast television.
“...adopting each new tool has become second nature, and not
a signal that other social tools are being replaced. ”
As active social media users across generations have become multi-tasking, multi-screening and ravenous media consumers, adopting each new tool has become second nature, and not a signal that other social tools are being replaced. That’s because the need to connect; the need to hear and share stories that move us, make us think, and ultimately make us feel less alone. Those human needs are consistent. We may change where we go to meet those needs; we may change the tools we use; we may occasionally succumb to shiny object syndrome, but ultimately we prioritize and bring order to the chaos.
As the social media universe shifts and expands, online influencers are winning in big ways. The blog audience continues to rise; long-form expression is seeing renewed investment from both traditional and online outlets, and blog recommendations now have a prominent position in the purchasing process for online users. For bloggers, having a plethora of tools to publish, promote, and distribute work has only enhanced the value of their personal corners of the Web.
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