The fragmentation of the social universe + 2 rising social networks

Increasingly the social media landscape feels a lot like the night sky and the billions of stars; yep it can be a little overwhelming at times the sheer number of social media platforms that have popped up over the last little while.

All of you would have seen one of these mind numbing/blowing ‘conversation prisms’ featured below highlighting just how many are out there. The latest prism now has added shades and categories that the original 2008 version by Brian Solis did not have – only making the technicolour landscape that much more crowded.


Some of the newcomers in 2013’s version include:

It’s not just the categories that are increasingly fragmented, but the categories themselves have many more players. 2008’s version listed 4/5 of the big players for each section, we are now looking at an average of 6/8 big players per category.

As a result, consumers and marketers alike are now confronted with literally hundreds of different social platforms in which they can create a presence and participate in. The evolving landscape would suggest you can set-up a good handful of different presences for all different niche audiences – but my take on it is actually quite the opposite. Do much less, and do it BETTER. Carefully select a few key social platforms that are most suited to your objectives and audience, and do a really good job of providing interesting content that triggers engagement on a regular and monitored basis via a dedicated resource.

Know the platforms (old and new), but also ensure you have distinct strategies for each and every channel you are investing in.

So, feeling a bit behind in regards to the latest up and comers in the social space? Here are a few to keep you on the cutting edge.


Whisper launched last November and is effectively a social mobile app that allows users to add text to images and share them anonymously. It is similar to Instagram with a much rawer and confessional feel, with users uploading pictures with text that talk to everything from anger to jealousy.

Few facts:

  • Main audience is 18-24 year olds
  • Users can freely upload/create their ‘secret’ content but users must pay $5.99 per month for a private messaging feature
  • The app is seeing 2.5 billion page views a month
  • More than 40% of users create content on the app
  • Average daily user visiting spends 30 mins on the app
  • The app is valued between $75-100 million


WeChat (previously known as Weixin) is an insanely popular chat app based in China. WeChat has endless functionality including the obvious sharing messages but also: sharing location, social gaming, near-by function which allows you to see who is physically around you, sending files, video chat, ‘shaking’ which connects you with other users sharking their phone as well to make new friends and many other awesome plug-ins and add-ons.

The app also places an emphasis on user privacy (potentially interesting for users frustrated with Facebook’s loose privacy rules) and fast response performance.

Few facts:

  • 400+ million users as of August ’13 (note only around 50 million are outside of China), meaning WeChat is well and truly breathing down Facebook’s neck in terms of worldwide popularity stakes
  • In China people often ask for your WeChat ID instead of your phone number
  • As of May ’13 the app has reached 440 million hours spent on the app monthly
  • WeChat is worth around 44.2 billion yuan

How does the increasing fragmentation of social networks affect you and your business? Maybe it’s time to review your social media strategy, a refreshed approach might be just what you need.


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