In May, Facebook launched its much-hyped IPO. To the surprise of many, it was less than stellar.
The answer is “no,” it’s only a bump in the road, although a big one, because social media is far more than just Facebook. Social media has many categories, and Facebook represents the category of social networking, which is different than LinkedIn, which represents the social media category of professional networking, which is different than FourSquare, which represents geosocial networking, which is different than WordPress, which represents blogging, which is different than Twitter, which represents microblogging, which is different than YouTube, which is about video sharing, which is different than Flicker, which is about photo sharing, which is different than SlideShare, which is about slide sharing.
All of these are categories, each with a category leader. In this case, Facebook is the category leader of social networking. But let’s remember that before Facebook, MySpace was the leader of social networking.
Social media will continue to evolve and popular platforms will come and go. Just because Facebook is experiencing difficulties doesn’t mean social media is dying. According to a recent report released by measurement firm, comScore, unique visits to social networking sites have increased by 6% year-over-year.
Pinterest, alone, experienced a 4377% growth between May 2011 and May 2012 whereas Facebook only grew by 4%. Before Facebook there was MySpace and as people continue to interact and network online, we can expect more innovative changes in social media.
So Facebook is not the king of social media; it’s the current king of social networking within the world of social media. And as we continue to innovate and invent new ways for people to connect and share, there will be new categories of social media that will catch on in both the business and personal realms.
Facebook’s dreary IPO performance will definitely have an effect on whether other social media sites decide to go public. And Facebook not only has to worry about being innovative and staying ahead of other sites, but also has to prove that they are capable of generating revenue.
Burrus states, “Personally, I would not give up on Facebook and its ability to be an advertising/marketing machine.” I completely agree, I think Facebook is here to stay.
Based on the growth of blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook we’re going to see nothing but growth in lawyers and law firms use of social media. The principal reason being that social media and social networking is nothing more than traditional business development – word of mouth and relationships – just accelerated.
The Facebook bubble is not burst, and even if it was, it’s a far cry from any social media or social networking bubble being burst.