Does Social Networking Have A Future? – Elf Knows It [ARCHIVED]

I will be the first to admit that social networking sites are a great tool. They are a brilliant way to connect to people on the other side of the world, who share the same interests as you. But isn’t that really what they should be? A tool or a service to help you connect online? If you take a walk down High Street on a busy afternoon you’re guaranteed to here the word “Bebo” echo through your ears on more than one occasion. “Bebo me later”, “I’ll Bebo you tonight”, “Are you on Bebo?” It’s a word that you can’t miss, and like many things, you either hate it or love it.

THE main crowd who use social networks are young adults aged 14 – 24. While there is a lot more users outside this age bracket on social networking sites, this figure is the more powerful, with 70% of people in this age bracket using social networking sites.

AT the moment social networks are in the right place and the right time, laid down on the right crowd. The main reason social networks are so popular is because, they remove the concept of time,space and distance from us while we are on them, you could be chatting to your friend from England while your at home here in Ireland, but it’s the same as sitting right beside them.

I have always wondered about this, are social networks just another craze or online fab that will be blown over and make way for something much better and bigger?

Let’s rewind back and take a look at some of the crazes that have been and gone on the web.

AOL Instant Messaging
AIM was huge for a while, it was one of the first big instant messaging services on the web.

MSN Messenger (Now Windows Live! Messenger)
MSN Messenger was everywhere at one stage, anyone and everyone used MSN, In the same way social networking is now, that’s how MSN was, you would hear the phrase “MSN me tonight” as much as you would about Bebo today! Although a good crowd of people still use MSN, social networking has pushed it to the side.

Yahoo! Games

Before social networking, people used to hang around Yahoo! Games, chatting and having some fun playing pool, cards etc. It was a great service. Still is, but Social networking did “steal” a lot of people from it.

Hot Or Not?
THE strangely entertaining website where people post there photos and be voted on a scale of hot – not. Getting their photos voted by thousands of people a day.

Funny Videos – Before YouTube

BEFORE YouTube there was still plenty of ways to see video’s of people getting hurt or making a joke of themselves online.
Video sites such as eBaum’s World, had thousands of videos,pictures, jokes etc.

Flash Animations
FLASH is a format used to create animations or interactive applications on the web. Around 2002 – 2003 there was a huge craze of flash animations sweeping the web.

If you where to go by the past habits and crazes of the net, social networking should die out, and a new craze or service will take it’s place. But it is hard to tell with this one, simply because there is a lot of room for expansion and growth to social networking. We’ll just have to wait and see.

AOL Instant Messenger –

MSN Messenger –

Yahoo! Games –

Hot or Not –

eBaum’s World –

Flash Animations – You can find plenty of these on too!

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