Blog for June, 2013

When New Isn’t Necessarily Better

By: Spritz  |  June 28, 2013  | 

The social media world gets larger and more complicated by the day and it seems like new startups and features are popping up left and right. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are rolling out new features to vie for the spotlight while marketing and advertising firms are constantly finding ways to capitalize on those features. Although keeping up with new trends is important, brands might find it worthwhile to take a step back and consider whether following a new trend might be trading in novelty for its original audience.

Take this past week for example: Instagram rolled out their video feature. The feature allows 15 second clips, 13 filters, frame editing and image stabilization. There has been speculation that this new Instagram feature may render Vine usage obsolete due to Instagram’s large existing user base. However, some Instagram enthusiasts feel that the video feature ruins the Instagram experience. The photo-only Instagram provided users with an intuitive way to share photos of beautifully captured moments – still moments. Posting and viewing photos on Instagram seemed simple, clean and homey. Now with the video feature, users are concerned about the clutter and the destruction of what was once a space for the appreciation of single moments and memories.

The same phenomenon has occurred with Pinterest. When Pinterest first launched in 2010, the high-quality of photos and small-community feel of the site drew in all sorts of artists, designers, aspirational home-makers and more. However, recently, although the Pinterest user base continues to increase, some Pinterest members are put off by the quality dilution of pins due to the influx of sometimes tacky images pinned for marketing purposes. For a Pinterest user, as it becomes harder to find inspirational and high-quality photos, the value of Pinterest for them decreases as well.

Although the opinions of a few disgruntled Instagram or Pinterest users may not mean that these social media platforms are wrong, it does mean that social media companies now, more than ever, need to understand the sentiments and needs of their audiences – both old and new.

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