The Future State of Social Media

What the past can show us, what the present suggests and what the future holds, more private communities and niche conversations

Welcome back to The Future State podcast and newsletter bundle, Nick and I are back from our summer hiatus and are back to make your next conversation about the future better. I’m one of your co-hosts Danny Denhard and I’ll be sharing why you should listen to this week’s brilliant podcast. 

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Listen To The Future State Of Social Media Podcast 🎧

Link: Listen On Apple

Link: Listen On Spotify

Introducing The Future State Of Social Media 👍

We live in a world where social media dominates much of the world’s conversation, political and media landscape and likely creates more discourses than any other platform created.

  • We see over 2.9 billion (that’s 50% of the world’s adult population) use Facebook monthly,

  • Over 2b on WhatsApp,

  • 1.3billion on messenger (the product)

  • And over one billion active users on Instagram.

For many people, Facebook properties are the gateway to the internet and social media is their lens for news and debate.  


Social media has changed since the early days of emails and forums and will continue to change, anything that is free is charging you as the product and therefore these platforms serve you more content, more ads and demand more insights about you and what you like, love and importantly what you loath. 

The success metrics currently (unfortunately):

Enragement is engagement. 

We have been engineered to accept product tweaks, to love an update and notification as it triggers a dopamine kick and plays with many people’s personalities. 

No one has ever been taught how to enjoy social media and how to understand and use it correctly.   

We are experiencing food delivery apps attempting to add social layers into their products, dating, family tree (see video below) and DNA products build on your social connections and build a dedicated graph for you and your network of friends, family and strangers. 

The History

Here is a breakdown of the social media-fictation of the internet and the related launches, you will see how many years coincided with big technology shifts and movements into “more open” web.

The Social Media Journey 

See ➡️ Say ➡️ Show ➡️ Share ➡️ Support ➡️ Share Less

  • See things & people

  • Say whatever

  • Say something

  • Show something

  • Share everything

  • Share important news

  • Support causes / people

  • Share privately to trust curated followers

The Podcast Breakdown 👏

  1. Why Nick and I are relevant in this chat

    1. Both ex CMO's

    2. Danny last business was built on top of social media and relied on social networks and network effects

    3. Nick is building a business around mixed reality and social media is hugely important to the business and it’s success

  2. Where we are today - social media turning into social-tainment

  3. What we lived through - history is important as is key tech shifts

  4. Why social media was/is important

    1. Is social media than just the apps on our phone - yes!

    2. Can adult sites be classified as social media?

    3. Is email?

  5. Why has social media changed

    1. TikTok ads feel more authentic than any other platform (why? Creators know the audience and their own brand style)

    2. The recent example from the Carolina Panthers

  6. The Future (explored below)

The Future State Of Social Media

Nick’s Future State 🤔

  • Smaller more niche communities

  • WhatsApp drops to become a tactic others offer

  • There will be an AR / VR future, it will be different to what is on offer on today

  • Work smarter not hard on social media

Danny’s Future State 🔮

  1. Hardware: For a handful, not for all

    1. Facebook (Portal, Oculus & Raybans priced at $/£299) & Snap (glasses) fully believe hardware is part of the mix

  2. Entertainment based social media - move away from social graph and friends graph, now entertainment graph - serve you content based on entertaining content, audio, video, gifs, - it will always be around:
    how much time x advertising $ it can attract x active users

  3. Discussion-based social media, pre-approved by a community leader - like subreddits.

    1. If I was Notion I would push hard into creating a social element to notion to enable conversation around URL's, content specific content commenting & adding reactions with emojis, gifs etc. Not their use case but could swallow up a lot of conversation that happens in private chat but is impossible to follow along

  4. We are likely to see smaller social networks bubble up (similar to how Path worked) to the service to offer better social networks with more focus on groups and interactions than something like Facebook changing the way social works.

    1. This is already happening within social networks - Instagram with how many account people have and how their own account is private vs secret lurker account

    2. Twitter is improving with their latest shift into communities (like groups on Facebook or Sub Reddits on Reddit) or something like Instagram which is rubbish at creating ways for people to connect in a sensible and meaningful way

    Thanks for reading and listening today.

    As ever happily let us know what you think, your predictions and what you think we might have got wrong.

    Talk To Us

    Have a great and informed day,

    Your hosts: Danny Denhard & Nick Walter

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    Nick on LinkedIn