A Brief Look at Facebook

Facebook is, well, kind of the hybrid of all the other social media sites that people use. The features that are Facebook has that compares to other social media sites is as follows:

  • The status bar is essentially Twitter, but with more options
  • The ability to add a location is essentially Foursquare
  • Being able to add the book your reading is like Goodreads
  • The ability to upload pictures and videos is comparable to Instagram, YouTube or Flickr

Clearly, there are far more features then the five I listed above. But Facebook’s niche is, in some ways, harder to figure out.   However, if I had to slap a clear label of Facebook’s niche, it would be games. Event though Facebook has more to offer then games, it seems to be one of the only real big draws to the site.

After all, who hasn’t heard about Candy Crush? It has been one of my two Facebook ‘go to’ games, the other game being FarmVille 2.

Even though games seem to be a big draw, two other things that seem to be a good draw are Facebook groups and Facebook pages.

With Facebook groups, they allow for people to work together and to plan things. I personally have mix feels about Facebook groups: on one hand, they make it easy to get information to people faster prior to meetings and on the other hand, it seems like groups make it harder to have deep conversations at times.

But with Facebook pages, the thing I like about them is that they are a great way to get information out if you’re a business or musician or nonprofit or something else. This is nice for the fact that it allows for information from the managers of the page to pass along information to people who like it faster.

But Facebook is definitely the hybrid of several social media sites. Granted, Facebook was around before most of them; even so, it’s hard not to look at Facebook any other way.

A Brief Look at Goodreads

Goodreads’ niche is social networking between book lovers.  What works great about Goodreads is that as you as read and rate books, you’re given recommendations for potential future reads.  This is great for the fact that I have always found it hard to find my next “great read.”

Another way to find out about good books is the listopia page where lists range from Best Teen Books About Real Problems to Best Books of the 20th Century to World War II Fiction.

What’s the greatest thing about the site, though, is that you get to see what what you’re friends are reading.  The great thing about this, I believe, is that it makes it easier to find out what books your friends would recommend.

A Brief Look at Instagram

Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media site where they’re formatted to 4 inches by 4 inches. The Instagram app comes with several preloaded filters that people can use as a way to edit the photos prior to posting them. So this clearly puts Instagram into the niche of photo sharing.

The great thing about Instagram is that unlike other photo sharing sites, you have a very specific photo size to work with. I find this to be the most appealing aspect of Instagram since it requires me to be critical about how I frame a photo that I’ll take.

And the fact that it does come with several preinstalled filters; it’s nice not having to spend a long time editing a photo. Granted, I have come to enjoy learning how to do the filters in photoshop so that I can apply them to photographs.

A Brief Look at Twitter

Twitter’s niche is: get to the point.  Since Twitter is set around only having 140 characters per post, users have to know how to get straight to the point with what ever they are trying to say.

Despite having so few characters to get a point across, Twitter is a great way to interact with people who you may not normally interact with due to your location.  For example: a few years back, I was able to interact with Paul Levinson while reading his book New New Media (the first edition) for a class.  Being able to connect with the author of a textbook of mine made it easier for me to get more out of the book.

But what makes Twitter a great social media site is that it’s so mainstream.  With the Twitter timeline, any advertisements that appear on Twitter take form of a sponsor tweet.  Regardless, it takes next to no time to scroll through the timeline since there are no ads anywhere other than in the timeline.

A Brief Look at Foursquare

When I was thinking about Foursquare in terms of its niche of the social media world, it wasn’t hard to think of the niche it fills: traveling.  Foursquare is set up to allow people to share where we currently are; which is perfect for jetsetters.  Foursquare’s mayor feature is also great for people who are regulars at certain places.

What is nice about Foursquare is that places are able to offer specials for checking into their establishments.  This is probably my personal favorite aspect of Foursquare since everyone enjoys a good deal, right?

Besides the possibility of receiving a special, the other nice thing about Foursquare is that you are able to see what places are near your current location.  This is nice for those of us who don’t want to plan out every single moment of a trip.

Another thing that Foursquare does, that I like, is that you can earn badges for checking into places.  The badges, which can range from coffee shop badges to gym rat badges, are designed in a way to encourage users to check in more often.  But I think as someone who enjoyed the Pokémon TV and movie series, it’s a nice indirect kickback to the series; after all, I always thought that it would be cool to earn badges.