Is this the year that the social media bubble bursts?

This article was written by Douglas Idugboe and originally published on Smedio.

Ever since the beginning of new year, I’ve heard the “social media bubble burst” claims several times, so I couldn’t resist the temptation of writing a piece on it sooner than later. Social media critics believe that year 2011 will spell doom’s day for Facebook, Twitter and other well known social networks. While some of them argue that social media has outlived its expectancy, others believe that social media has grown too fast and is no longer a sustainable proposition amongst individual as well business users.

I witnessed the 2000 dot-com bubble and being a social media loyalist, I can safely bet that Facebook and Twitter aren’t going that dreaded route. Investors have questioned the valuation of Facebook and Group and it’s surely the beginning of the end for Myspace. So, are these good enough reasons to doubt the long term future prospects of social media? Let’s dive in.

Dot Com vs. Social Media

First thing first, it’s grossly unfair to compare the dot com bubble with social media. The dot com bubble was all about businesses and individuals going gaga over their newly found fame and attention on the internet. In contrast, Facebook and Twitter are online legends who’ve been there and done that for last several years.

Secondly, businesses tried to make the most of dot com boom without proper planning and no Plan-B in place. The boom soon turned sore as the bubble burst and the rest as they say is history. On the other hand, social media is a well thought out business proposition. A number of businesses already have a social media plan/ strategy in place before they jump on to the Twitter/ Facebook bandwagon so they are prepared for the worst while they hope for the best results.

What about MySpace?

To be honest, I’ve never been a MySpace fan. Though it ruled the roost in social media world for a long time, it was never a fascinating value proposition for business users. I strongly believe that any social network needs to mass adoption in the business world in order to sustain and grow like Facebook and Twitter. MySpace failed miserably on that front.

However, MySpace is more of an exception rather than a norm in the social media world. Social media is all about innovation and adding value, Myspace stopped doing both of them and I’m not surprised that it would soon be a thing of the past.

Numbers matter

To reach, the 50 million users mark,

  • Radio took 38 years
  • TV took 13 years
  • Internet took 4 years
  • Facebook took less than 6 months

Surely, it’s no longer a fluke.

As a proud and loyal social media loyalist, I can confidently say that 2011 will be another golden year for social media. Facebook and Twitter will continue to defy their critics and grow at a scorching pace. I also expect 2011 to be the defining year for social media in the business world.

As for the talks of the so-called social media bubble bursting, I strongly believe that it’s nothing beyond false propaganda. What is your opinion on social media’s future in the business world? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.