A recent study suggested a significant shift on how users across social media platforms are changing their sharing options from ‘publicly available’ to ‘private few’.
Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp are great examples of how a billion plus users on each platform engage.
The social network concept is huge & so is the level of risk when comes to sharing updates publicly. The data clearly signifies that users do prefer to talk/share more in private groups as compared to broadcasting everything. While the functionality to share with everyone is awesome, most conversations are probably better when done within a closed group. Here’s a funny take on social sharing problem - We came across an article that said how social media helped a robber loot the home easily. The robber used to follow the updates of owner on social media platform & when they mentioned that they are going on a vacation, it was his time to act.
Users now feel the need to talk in private. As a result, Facebook too has come up with a feature ‘Sharing Space’ which lets you publish photos/updates within your select group of people. Instagram’s latest take on separating messaging feature as an standalone app from the main app is in line to these studies.
This change is important to understand as a marketer. It changes the whole dynamics of how data was consumed till date on social networks. We personally love how Facebook studies the user activity data & builds up a solution that brands can leverage. Take an example of Messenger Bots - a simple, one-to-one communication tool that fits in so perfect.
We are waiting to see how other social networking apps conceive the private sharing trends. The broader impact that brands were creating in the open space would now go private. Our guess is that there will be more focus on branded communities, be a part of group/conversation that talk the same language as brand does. The shift will be more of a direct communication.
There are challenges, for sure, but the trends are clear. As private sharing increases, all brands need to consider how they can tap into those smaller networks, and utilise such shifts to benefit.