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The Changing Landscape of Social Media Apps

By Charlie Breck
Charlie is a freelance writer focused on tech and human behavior. With more than five years of experience in digital marketing and a deep understanding of interpersonal communication, his goal is to understand how tech will continue to reshape the way we communicate.

In a report just released, CenturyLink identified the top social apps by state. The results went against what we would have predicted.

If your business spends most of its ad dollars on Facebook, be wary that Facebook isn’t going to have the sway it’s had in past years.  While social media continues to be a critical element of any good business marketing plan, it’s essential we stay on top of and adjust to, the new social trends.

Let’s walk through some of the most surprising findings.

Google+ and Snapchat Tie for Most Popular Social App Nationwide
This was the biggest surprise, given that both apps have been known in past years for being less popular. Particularly Google Plus, which was considered a massive and expensive flop when first released, as it tried to compete with Facebook.

What’s more, states such as California and Washington (who are typically the trendsetters regarding tech) ranked in highest search volume of Google Plus. This begs the question, is Google Plus making a strong comeback?

When Snapchat first launched, it was called “Picaboo” (pronounced “peek-a-boo”) and had some stigma around its use. The idea being, for sending potentially inappropriate pictures that people didn’t want to get caught doing (hence, the photos would automatically disappear after a short amount of time).

Since changing its name to Snapchat, the app has become extremely popular and is now used for more than picture exchanges (although that’s still its main feature). Sharing geo locations and making money exchanges are just a few of the new features.

Facebook Falls in Fourth Place
Surprising? Maybe not. Facebook has been on the decline for some time now. Its decline has given other apps a chance in the spotlight.

Whether the decline comes from parents and older generations migrating to the app, thus deterring younger generations to adopt it, or that the app merely has already peaked is hard to pinpoint.

Regardless, Facebook still serves as a relied-upon outlet for news, humor and connecting its 2.07 billion active users.

Twitter Didn’t Even Make the List
This is especially important for marketers, as Twitter has historically been one of the most effective social apps for marketers.

Whether we’re using it to connect with influencers and stay on top of trending topics, connect with potential prospects, or share peeks into our company culture, it’s a great tool.

But, as marketers, we can abuse this and end up automating so many tweets that our followers catch on and lose interest. The amount of spammy accounts continues to rise, thus pushing away real, authentic users that are looking for a human connection with the brands they love.

By the end of 2018, it’s possible that a whole new list of social apps will begin to claim the first, second, and third place in terms of popularity. For example, loads of marketers are already upping their advertising on Amazon; they realize that many consumers use Amazon as a search engine, and often head there even before Google when searching for a product or specific need.

In any case, how is your business going to take into account the changing landscape of social media? Start by identifying which social media apps your business performs the best with, then adjust your strategy to test it out on the most popular apps.