New social networks used to be greeted with enthusiasm – Friendster, Friendfeed, MySpace. Each one got a little better, gained users, then fell off the radar. Today the big three – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – dominate with eyes on Google+ to see if it’s going to make it.
Even so, there are a number of smaller networks that follow a path of launch, traction, an explosion in media coverage, and then they settle into something of a slower growth pattern.
There was a time, for example, a while back when you couldn’t flip open your RSS reader without seeing Quora in the headlines. Long before its Android application or Facebook’s acquisition, Instagram too had this trajectory where hobbyist techies propelled the network, or app, or whatever we’re calling it these days, into the mainstream. Pinterest is enjoying this lift right now.
Sometimes a network makes it and some settle comfortably into their niche. Quora is one I think fits this category. When I first logged in, I was addicted, quite literally losing sleep in fascination. Quora in my view has settled a bit, but it’s still interesting and useful.
I think Instagram would have followed a similar path if it hadn’t been acquired. There’s enough photographers and wannabe photographers that enjoyed the tool.
Despite the buzz it’s getting now, I don’t think Pinterest is going to make it. Read More…