Imagine being one of the first businesses on Facebook, with no other pages competing for your clientele’s attention. Or being the only restaurant in your city on Yelp. Or the first one to sell adorable tea cozys on Etsy. The power of being first on a social network is immense.
The term for this in the business world is “first-mover advantage,” but it’s the equivilant of tagging “First!” in the comments on this page. It’s a claim to fame, and a great way to stand out. But just how do you find these social networks when they’re beginning?
Well, it helps to be constantly researching social media. Which, if you’re reading Social Barrel, you’re already doing, so congrats! Staying up to date on those in the tech world will let you find the invites to betas and closed opens that your competitors won’t see. If you’re ready to jump in to the world of emerging networks, here’s a couple to start you off.
Microsoft Dips Their Toes into the Social Pool With So.cl
Opening for public beta on December 7th, Microsoft’s So.cl will most likely bring one thing to your mind when you first see it. Oh, a Pinterest clone. And let’s be honest, Pinterest clones are a dime a dozen: Gentlemint, FreshBump, and Manteresting, to name a few.
But so.cl’s strong connectivity with Microsoft’s Bing search engine is where this social network has a chance to shine. If Microsoft can manage to be the first to truly connect the world of search with the world of social (have you checked your Google+ page since Summer,) then so.cl has a good chance of making it very very big.
Pheed Takes The Best of Every Social network
Pheed is the latest player in the social networking world. Self-described by their own CEO as a “mash-up,” it takes numerous features from other social networks that you’re already familiar with. Your profile page will look mostly identical to your Facebook Timeline. The search will be similar to the trending topics you see on Twitter. The concentration on video will bring about memories of Ustream and Justin.tv. But does this Frankenstein of a social network, well, actually work?
The answers a bit of a yes and no. The design is gorgeous. But with all of that information coming at you at once, it can be a bit overwhelming when you start. Still, all of those features just make up the general feel of Pheed. Their big hope is set on allowing users to charge for the content they produce. This means a singer can sell views to a live acoustic concert they’re abou to perform. Or an artist can sell their pictures. The opportunity to finally allow content-creators the chance to sell their wares, might make Pheed the social network of choice for that kind of users. And if content creators are on a network, their fans will follow.
Vir2o Sets Their Hopes on Real-Time Interaction
The final emerging social network that we’ll examine today is Vir2o, which recently launched their beta. Their unique comes from a strength in real-time interactions. Imagine consumers being able to shop together, or watch films together on their favorite social network. Some of you may have experienced opportunities like this on your X-Box 360 console, but no one has managed to bring it to a large-scale social network. If Vir2o succeeds at being the first, the opportunities for businesses are endless…if they can have someone assigned to manage their profile 24/7, that is.
What Social Network Surprises Will We See in 2013?
Many, I’m sure. The world of social networking is giving us news faster and faster, and the cash pot in the middle continues growing higher and higher. Expect the largest organizations to not be able to resist jumping in any longer.
Our best bet is on Apple or Amazon. Both have massive amounts of customer information. Both have massive amounts of media from publishers. Now, all they need is a little more buy-in from their consumers. If either one can create a social network around their vast wares, then they might be able to reach that holy trifecta of the perfect network. Social, Search, and Sales. Get those three, and the internet is theirs.