Media Monarch: Social network hierarchy subject to change

Social media is one of the most prevalent sources of entertainment and communication in society today. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have been taking over most of the world in full force, and they are showcased in everything, whether it be news, television, the Internet itself or in talk among students.

However, the truth is that after several years of use, many social networks depreciate in value to those who use them, and everyone is constantly looking for the next big social network to use.

This occurred to one of the first big social networks, MySpace. This site was founded in 2003 by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe and was an instant hit among teenagers, especially with the music emphasis on the site from pop singer Justin Timberlake. It was a place for the most basic of social networking, which also had a large influence on pop music and pop culture. MySpace was the social network everyone needed to use. A survey stated that in 2006, 85 percent of teenagers owned a MySpace account.

As of 2013, the survey stated that a mere 7 percent of teenagers owned a MySpace account. It is arguable that this decline of users could be because the site became too old and nostalgic. However, the downfall of MySpace can be most likely attributed to the creation of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, founded in 2004. The site began as a small website created by college students, but soon exploded into a huge corporation, overtaking MySpace as the top social networking website in 2008 with a higher number of worldwide visitors.

This social networking site is a place for people to share the details of their lives through statuses and photos. Facebook also has a messaging system so people can talk privately to their friends individually or in groups. Additionally, Facebook has several apps and games available for its users and fan pages for books, movies, TV shows and celebrities.

Its primary goal is to connect friends and family, whether they live in a different city, state or even country.

Facebook has been the reigning site in the social networking hierarchy for years, but many now say that the king of social networks is heading into decline. Many say that the site is “getting old” and “no one uses it anymore.” Several teenagers complain that Facebook has become too cluttered and complicated to use, which is understandable considering how often Facebook makes changes to its site and policies.

Now, Twitter is on the rise, attempting to overtake Facebook as the lead social network. Many Twitter users claim to prefer the simplicity of the site, with a very open and thoughtful layout and design.

Senior Anna Hubbard said, “I like Twitter better because it has a younger user age, and older people are taking over Facebook.”

Although Twitter has a limit of 160 characters per post, those who own both a Facebook and a Twitter account tend to tweet more than update statuses. Twitter is also linked to several other apps, such as Vine and Instagram, which allows posts from their respective apps to be easily posted and viewed on the site.

Senior Erik Mueterthies said, “I like Twitter [better than Facebook] because my account is protected, so I can control who sees my stuff.”

In general, Twitter appeals to people in that it has simpler design and functionality, while Facebook continually attempts to add more and more things to its site, creating more clutter and disappointment among its users. Among teenagers, Facebook has become a social network to occasionally post in, while Twitter is the needed social media. In fact, Twitter is used constantly in the news and television for discussion on topics among viewers, and people also “live tweet” movies they are watching. Everyone can easily access what topics they wish to see with the use of hashtags on Twitter, which Facebook has tried to use a bit unsuccessfully.

Junior Emily Banes said, “I like Twitter because I can see what’s going on with my favorite celebrities.”

In general, it appears as though Twitter will take over the social network hierarchy, leaving Facebook in the dust with its main users most likely being those of an older age who wish to connect with old friends. Twitter will most likely stay the top social networking site for several years until something younger and better comes along for teenagers to flock to.

 

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