Monday, October 7, 2013

Will Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr Really Matter Five Years from Now?

Long ago on this blog, we discussed potential ways to save MySpace from a painful demise.  For you young folk out there, MySpace is what preceded Facebook.  For you old geezers, MySpace is what followed Friendster.  Moreover, contrary to what some of you may think, MySpace is still alive, and well even, ranked in the top 500 (#452) in the U.S. in terms of online traffic.  (Can you say that about your website?)  In fact, just last year, MySpace bragged about signing up over one million new accounts in a month due to its renewed focus on music.

Okay, so maybe MySpace is still hanging on, at least for now.  But what's the prognosis for those other non-Facebook social networking sites that have enjoyed media attention over the past few years?  Is there truly a viable future for sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr?  Or will all of what they do be merged into a site such as Facebook?

Now, before you think I'm the ultimate pessimist, let's consider that in its heyday, MySpace was the presumably unbeatable leader in social networking (as was Friendster a few years earlier).  There were few, if any, who thought that it would ever fall like it did.  So what I'm wondering is this (and I'll need your thoughts to help me out): if one of the reasonably big social networking sites were to begin its decline, what would cause it to do so, and how could it be saved?

Let's try this exercise by considering any one of these three big players:
Your task if you're reading this is to let me know:
  1. If one (or more) of these sites were to start to decline, what do you think would be the potential factor(s) that would cause that decline?
  2. What do you think that website could potentially do either to prevent the decline or to reverse it?
Let me know in a comment below, and if you've written something related to this topic in your own blog, link to your own blog entry in your comment below.

Let's face it... if you're a social networking site, high traffic rank is sensible.

Be sensible.

P.S.  In just in case you were wondering... Friendster is still out there, ranked in the top 19,000 websites worldwide (and the top 7,000 in India) according to  Some websites just refuse to die.



  1. Great post, Professor! Pinterest, a relatively new site with an explosive growth, is the perfect example of how fast things change in the social media game. In 2011, just a year and a few months after its Beta, it became one of the top 10 media sites.

  2. Hello, Professor! This has by far been my favorite blog post of the semester. Social media is such a presence in our everyday lives, it's only normal to wonder how much more it can grow. I believe social media sites are here to stay, and that there are always newer and cooler ways to better market ourselves from a social media platform. The best way to avoid a demise is to stay relevant.

    Here's a link to my blog:

  3. Hello,

    I love this post because it relate with, I have recently been in charge of social media at my work place. Now that I'm currently engaged with Facebook and its many benefits to the interact with customers and engage more connection, I see the great potential that this is for Marketers.
    Every day with the insight that I receive from the feedback I can have a better understanding on what the viewers are interested in and how to better promote the business.
    Here is the link to my post where I explained further the benefits:

  4. I never heard of Friendster before. It's amazing how since the Internet came to life society and people's life changed. A lot of website were created and then decline, for instance in Argentina Fotolog was really popular and it preceded My Space and Facebook in which you could upload one picture a day and your friends who had Fotolog accounts could comment on it.
    However, I do believe that these websites have had the impact Facebook had on online traffic which is why I believe that none of the website mentioned could replace Facebook. This website affected so deeply the online market that in my opinion will be really hard for it to decline.

    Link to my Blog:

  5. Good post, but in my eyes the question is not how this will fall but at what lengths are these websites going to go to in order to make themselves relevant in the live's of the general public. It's amazing how people complain they have no time and their lives are getting busier, but if they were to cut out the social networking (not referring to linkedin, which oftens is used to strengthen business ties) that they so often engage in, they could do something much more productive! I will talk more about these sites on my blog.

  6. The reason why I think the reason why social media sites decline is because there is always bigger and better competition out there. That is exactly what happened with MySpace, although it is still relevant Facebook took its place in the top. There will always be bigger and better to come. Overall I think that is why most social media sites will decline. In order to prevent this from happening I believe that social sites need to constantly make new features in order to excite their subscribers, after all isn't that that point of social media? To feel a sense of excitement when on them. These sites need to make new features and new innovations in order to stay relevant within the social media world. I think that once a subscriber is done with a social site it is very hard to get them back, so I think all social media sites should really try to prevent that from happening. The main thing is to keep exciting your subscribers and stay relevant with regards to other competition. A good example of this I think is Instagram, which is basically a place for people to post pictures and share with friends, well another app came about called Vine, strictly for posting videos for friends to see. Well shortly after Instagram updated their site and allowed subscribers to start posting videos as well, and I think it was a great idea. Instagram stayed relevant and updated their features to please their users and in turn I'm sure main people stopped using Vine.

  7. As in everything in life, only those websites that do not adapt to new trends will see their demise. A great example of adapting can be seen from Facebook. When its management realized that they were losing market share to Instagram they decided to pay a hefty price to acquire it. Technology is progressing at a fast pace and social media sites need to be flexible and adapt to changes in trends and capitalize on new opportunities. For an interesting article on how technology has set us apart visit my blog at:

  8. Yes this trend is very obvious. Sites keep coming up that cater to particular niche markets and preferences. It can sometimes be tough for businesses who want to market online to know which social sites are best to focus on. I wrote about this topic in my blog:

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I want to say Tumblr is the one in decline. I have and rely on the most popular sites (facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest) but Tumblr has never fully captured my attention and maybe because is too much like pinterest but more fun. I think to stop their demise they should find other interactive ways to stay connected with its publics. Not many brands are using Tumblr, and I think is because their posts are not too brand focused, but they're very general instead - too hippie!

  11. Tumblr is the site that I think is dying. Just today I got a blasted email, tittle: "you should see what's happening on Tumblr." Like I had mention in my bog, sites don't die because they are bad, but just because there are new sites coming up every day. Nowadays people are very into Vine. However, there is hope, something that a site like Tumblr could do is more marketing, no the email blasting kind. Those are too impersonal. Tumblr should partner up with a big event like a marathon or fashion week, where it could promote the posting of such event. It would drive more traffic into the site.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I am into social media and I strongly believe that social networks are here to stay. Social media is everything. Television and print have merged to this new medium and we can see it with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The popularity of a website and whether it's going to die soon or not depends heavily on the public. If the consumer doesn't find it to worth it, then it will somehow vanish. Consumers want novelty, new options and different features that other sites don't offer.

    Personally, from all the social networks, Tumblr is the one that never captured my attention. I didn't feel that it was something unique and I still can't find a reason to use it constantly. I think that this website will be the first one to disappear in the next 5 years if the company doesn't come up with a new strategy.

  14. Great Topic, With trends coming and going, how will Facebook stay number 1. Everyone overlooks the fact that things do get old and irrelevant. Currently, Facebook is the in thing but who can say they are 5 years from now. 1/3 of the world is using the internet in 2013. Does that mean 1/3 of the World has a Facebook? What if they do capture all 1/3 of the global population next year? How will they increase after that? Check out my blog for more on this topic.

  15. This is an interesting issue that you brought to our attention, which is a valid argument and issue. Of course no one knows what the next new exciting social media site will be or what new invention may be created, but some things do become outdated because those sites lose our attention or interest. Once a large group changes to a new site most people follow those new trends because who can you continue to network with if those friends are no longer using the same webpage. This is one issue that can create a decline. I think I may have heard of Friendster before, but I am younger therefore it was probably before my social networking time. I was involved during the Myspace trend and the Facebook trend, but I think that now Facebook is being left behind like Myspace. Now a lot of my friends are on Instagram instead, and I can see the issues you are addressing in your blog. The only thing I can think of is for the sites who are being left behind are to reinvent their websites, but I don’t think mimicking the newest trends will help unless there is some reinventing as well.

  16. Professor, what a great topic to blog about. This has been one of my favorite thus far, because its very relevant to us as a society and for our generation and many more to come. If it was not for social media for example we would not be doing this blog. Social media has expanded so many horizons, its a tool to communicate with family, friends and loved ones, a tool for professional networking and now even used for learning. I can say with much certainty that I don't see social media leaving us anytime soon however staying on top of technology and the latest trends like some of my classmates have mentioned are what will make the difference of which will stay at top of mind and be the trendy ones people are using and which will be the websites such as myspace and Friendster that are out there to be remembered and hardly used by anyone.

    Miguel Angel Salazar

  17. I chose to answer the two questions in only one paragraph to develop a better idea.
    Nowadays internet users are in need of something new everyday. This forces social network site to make changes and take risks to keep their current users and to add some new. One of the most important factors that affect a Social Network is the mobile experience. People around the world are constantly using their phones, even more time that the computer, so having a fast and very complete app for smartphone will help any social network to be in business for a long time. Any social network that do not improve their mobile experience will experience a decline in its users and therefore, popularity. The future of social networks is in the handhelds.

  18. Been completely realistic, answering this questions is almost impossible. The Internet has given us access to such incredible things, there is really now way of knowing in 10 years it would be a completely different social network platform.
    I will base this comment, on a simple hypothesis based on evident facts.

    Facebook, is the main social network, there is one simple reason for this, it covers a lot! The fact that every body is in the search of something new every day has made it possible for websites like the mentioned above to appear.

    In my opinion the first one to fall will be Tumblr, of course it is very useful, but it also is very easy for Facebook to offer what they do. They could easily add a tab called Blog, and offer separate privacy settings for it. For this website to succeed in the market for a longer amount of time it will need for Facebook to outlook their importance and don't bother it.

    Now, in the case of LinkedIn, this website offers something completely different than Facebook, in a virtual moral way. Of course they are both online profiles, but the information offered is completely different. The success of this website is based on the fact that every body needs a professional online profile, but NEVER wanted linked to its personal one. I believe the only thing that could make this website go down the drain is if they stop updating their system to be up to date with the user needs.

    Twitter, first of all, I am not a Twitter user, but have to admit I am very impressed by its power and usefulness. Twitter is not only about sharing random, stupid comments, Twitter is a constant online news platform for whomever uses it correctly. The merging of Twitter and Facebook is almost impossible, they work in different ways, and offer completely different services. If they were to merged, it will loose the effectiveness of both. The merging unless done really WELL is the main reason I believe this website could go down.

  19. I think Tumblr will go down first even though I'm a fan. Tumblr really doesn't serve as a tool for anything that really matter in the real world. It doesn't provide news or anything relevant that will affect society major. I think twitter does a better job at that. News and companies have found twitter to be a useful tool that is not only used solely by teenagers and they actually get the information out there faster then any medium. Linkedln its actually a great tool and I don't think it would actually disappear. I believe it will remain popular and continue growing it has changed the way business people network, it's amazing. I only think Tumblr will be the only one disappearing out of those three. The only way Tumblr would survive it's if it changes to a more serious tool where businesses take part on it.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Facebook is the number one website and I feel the last website that will hit a decline if it ever in fact reaches a decline. Most people when they post something to twitter or Instagram can also have it posted to their facebook page. Facebook page is all encompassing therefore, only when the other sites start to lose their interest will facebook start to have a decline as well.

    The fact that Instagram and twitter are very limited in their capabilities are part of the reason why people like myself are attracted to them. I can follow people that I do not really want to get to know but that I find interesting. Facebook is more intimate. Maybe it's just me but this is how I feel about it.

  22. Worth writing. Thanks professor for your clarification about social media.

  23. Web2.0 sites are very popular for marketing, however I like Tumblr Marketing most because tumblr provides a lot of functions which are very help to market my things easily.

  24. Business cards have always provided all types of users with the best representation of their own profession or their company. Those in advertising and marketing are always good with having the trendiest business cards. More