The revolution of social media has certainly been one that was unexpected and has become one of the most valuable platforms for networking and sharing content globally. When Facebook launched in 2004, the world took to storm and fell in love with the ability to connect with classmates, old friends and colleagues and most importantly share content, videos, images and messages with each other seamlessly with an instant click of a button. People could discover new hobbies, make new friends, explore new cities and worlds through just this one platform. Personal and professional content could be shared and this was the start of a digital revolution that became seamlessly transparent and beneficial to all audiences. Once Facebook expanded, people were able to access it from a variety of devices with internet connectivity and Bluetooth including desktops, personal laptops, tablet computers and smartphones. With the start of the social media revolution, Facebook led the way. New platforms began to pop-up quickly and fearlessly. The public was no longer holding back and tapping into the ability to share engaging content.
Then, there was Twitter. It came out two years later as another social media platform featuring American online news and social networking. It coined the term “tweets”, which are messages that were originally restricted to 140 characters, and now has since doubled as of 2017. Registered users can tweet, post, comment and like and unregistered users can only read the tweets. Twitter became a sanction for news and political affairs. CEOs, journalists and media enthusiasts relished in twitter, using it as a way to communicate their thoughts and opinions publicly. However, as the social media revolution continued, more platforms and start-ups were entering into the market and the main one I would like to call out is Instagram.
It owned and dominated the ability to share colorful content and images. Founded in 2010, shy of 6 years after Facebook, Instagram changed the quality of content. With various filters, tags and location information, users could upload photos and videos that they took immediately or even a year prior to share with its fans or followers. Instagram accounts could be private or public. Soon fashion brands saw this as a free way to advertise and upload their new collections for Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter. Users could now use Instagram to get caught up on the latest products and fashion of their favorite clothing brands. It was iconic and electric. It certainly has come far and continues to change the game of social for all companies besides fashion including technology, news, financial institutions and even others such as Artificial Intelligence and medical communities. Although there are many advantages and benefits that continue to be featured and added to Instagram, the one feature I want to draw attention to is Instagram’s new “Toggle Switch”.
In Q1 2019, Instagram came out with a new feature to allow marketers to share posts across multiple accounts. This feature will inherently provide a stronger experience for people or social media managers at agencies to conserve time and post on behalf of multiple accounts for their clients, saving time, creativity and energy. They will be able to devote more time and thought to the actual content than wasting time logging in and out of accounts. This caught my attention because I spent a couple years working internally at a boutique hotel managing its social media on multiple platforms for both the actual hotel and its pop-up restaurants throughout the year. They each had their own Instagram account and I found it challenging to cross-functionally share content and images that were identical across all three accounts. It was a headache, let alone a nightmare to log in and log out each time a follower made a comment or a direct reference to the image, while also managing their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I knew there had to be features in the works that Instagram was developing to address this issue.
With this option to manage multiple accounts and share a post across two or more of the accounts under a brand’s management, time and effort will be conserved. How it works is that users will see a post to “other accounts” option when creating or writing a new post, and they can select the accounts they want to post to using toggle switches. Now with the ability to respond to questions and comments from fans across multiple accounts, content will be more up-to-date and get posted faster and more accurately. Even though I chose to focus on Instagram’s new “Toggle Switch”, the more general idea I want to communicate is that social media is not a dying industry and will continue to operate at a faster rate as new technologies, firms and people develop new platforms to enhance current and future technologies and media tools. There is no limit in this world, only a limit of characters for Twitter but the opportunities are endless and priceless. I can only imagine what will happen in the next 3-5 years when AI is more of a way of life than a topic that is still unknown and unseen to the greater public.