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Twitter, Mastodon, and What you Need to Know About the Rise (and Fall) of Social Platforms

What's the future of social media? Are there new social media platforms to be aware of? Here's what should stay on your radar for 2023.

6 mins read time
Kate Schaefer
Kate Schaefer

Dec 09, 2022

The future of social media is constantly changing. New social media platforms pop up while others disappear from the limelight. We know it's a lot to keep up with...that's why we take the guesswork out for you and narrow down the details to just what you need to know. So, what are the latest updates?

Mastodon — What Is It and How Does It Work?

mastadon screen shot


Mastodon is an open-source-coded self-hosted micro-blogging social media network. What does that mean? It means that posts look a lot like Twitter posts. But instead of all posts and profiles being hosted by a single overseeing company and everyone having access to the same information (like on Twitter), different sub-hosts have different servers in different regions across the world. There are currently 8,000 Mastadon servers, and the number keeps growing.

Each "node" or "instance" is independently run and has its own terms of service, code of conduct, and privacy policy. If you are a member of Reddit, these "instances" are a lot like subreddits. They follow a certain topic, a certain region, a certain industry, etc. And you must request to join each one separately.

Recently, as Elon Musk has taken over as CEO of Twitter, there has been a mass exodus of high-profile Twitter users, like celebrities and politicians, and many have moved over to Mastadon.

Along with the different "instances," there are some additional differences between Mastodon and Twitter. First, Mastodon doesn't have an advertising component. Secondly, its posts are listed in reverse chronological order like the Twitter of old. There's no mysterious, behind-the-scenes algorithm to try and master. It's first come, first serve.

So should you invest in creating a Mastadon account and posting to the platform? It couldn't hurt to check it out. The jury is still out about where this platform will go.

Twitter — What's Going on?

elon musk tweet


As previously mentioned, with Elon Musk taking over Twitter on October 27, 2022, there has been a big shakeup of the platform. As of this writing, Musk has whittled down Twitter's staff from 7,500 employees to approximately 900. The first cut came on Musk's first day at Twitter, firing 50% of the company's staff. The second cut came as those who were left weeded themselves out, taking a three-month severance offer as Musk demanded via email that all remaining staff "commit to working long hours at high intensity" or take the severance offer. Thousands took the offer...leaving around just 900 staffers left.

What does this mean? This means fewer people to make sure things are working correctly and fewer people to troubleshoot should there be a problem. Fewer people to enforce platform rules against harassment. Fewer people to verify accounts as real people. (And there HAS been an influx of fake accounts created during this timeframe, many posing as existing companies and public figures.)

All this sudden change has advertisers weary of the platform, with 50 of Twitter's top 100 advertisers already bowing out. It also has many verified users of the platform (like news stations) jumping off the platform because of the fake accounts, and other users afraid that one day they will wake up and try to log into Twitter, and the app just won't work.

So should you continue posting to Twitter or should you jump ship? For now, we say if you're on Twitter, there's still a large audience on the platform. Go ahead and keep doing what you're doing. Just keep an eye on the news and keep an eye on the platform.

TikTok — How Is Advertising and Business Use Taking Shape?

TikTok business center


TikTok is a short-form video content platform. With 1.5 billion daily TikTok users, ranging in age from 10-50+, this is a huge platform to ignore as a business...especially if your target audience demographic is between 10 and 29 (these make up 62% of TikTok's user base). What's also important to highlight is that Generation Z uses TikTok and Instagram to search for topics INSTEAD of Google. Cue jaw drop!

What's great about TikTok is that it provides already-existing templates with moving graphics and music that you can just add your images to and create a video. The platform also has a "TikTok Business Center" where you can manage asset permissions, get data insights, and easily access Ads Manager to run your advertising campaigns. These tools make it easier to track ROI on the platform.

What's also beneficial is that TikTok isn't yet saturated with advertising like other platforms that have been around for longer. Your advertisements won't have as much noise to break through on TikTok. Of course, this is rapidly changing as more brands figure out they need to be on the platform, and as such, advertising costs continue to rise. So, get there early!

Facebook's "Metaverse" — What's the Story?

metaverse


Facebook rebranded itself "Meta" back in October 2021, doing so to align itself with the digital future the company was working towards behind the scenes. This world, deemed "Metaverse," is a virtual reality world where people will interact with each other using avatars doing real-world things like working and shopping. Instead of getting dressed and getting in the car, they will just do these everyday things while sitting in a recliner with a VR headset on and motion-capture gloves (or do so using some form of AR technology like Google Glass).

In addition to Meta, tech giants, including Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, are also investing billions of dollars in the Metaverse concept. Management consultancy McKinsey & Company has predicted that the metaverse economy could reach $5 trillion by 2030. E-commerce is expected to be the dominant engine, with gaming, entertainment, education, and marketing in the Metaverse also becoming important sectors.

The development of the Metaverse is complicated in that it utilizes multiple different types of technologies:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Extended reality
  • 3D modeling and construction
  • Spatial and edge computing
  • Blockchain

So where are we with the Metaverse now? The fact that a variety of companies are focusing on different technological aspects that are also developing at different speeds...well, let's just say that to date, we have ended up with more isolated pockets of what people are generically terming "the Metaverse" than what is really, truly an all-connected virtual world.

Instead, what we have is Microsoft Mesh and One Adventure Park, a futuristic amusement-park-like virtual space for onboarding new hires that includes a central conference room, central board room, and monorails that new hires use to travel to different exhibits.

And we have Epic Games' Unreal Engine software (makers of the popular game Fortnite) that provides a space for users to interact with each other and brands without a newsfeed filled with ads.

Or we have Medivis, an AR surgical system that lets surgeons quickly sync with a hospital's digital imaging system.

These are examples of what is currently out there that is hoped to one day be part of the all-encompassing virtual world called Metaverse, where you never need to leave your home to "be out in the world."

How far into the future is a connected Metaverse possible? Since most people don't currently own VR headsets or the like, most research analysts are predicting the Metaverse to affect our daily lives more in 2040 than in 2023.

So while these tech developments are exciting and interesting, for most businesses, we recommend just keeping abreast of what's going on in this Metaverse realm, with no current action to be taken.

First Page Strategy is here to answer any questions you may have about social media marketing or marketing in general. Our marketing experts are available to help guide your marketing decisions to ensure ROI and business growth. Contact us at any time!

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Kate Schaefer

Kate has spent 8 years building brands and helping them tell their stories digitally. She does not have a dog, but would love to hear about yours. Preferably if they have their own social media.

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