Have you ever heard the expression “a rising tide lifts all boats?” It’s often attributed to JFK, though seems to be from the New England Council, a chamber of commerce. The idea is an improvement will benefit everyone participating.
On social media we see the same effect when features or platforms gain popularity, and users carry their new behavior over to other platforms. Let’s call it Social Media feature cross pollination. The example of this that’s sticking out most for me lately is seeing my own behavior on Twitter change as I use Snapchat more. While Twitter has allowed you to embed 30 second video clips for a while now, other than the initial launch of that functionality, I don’t think I was particularly interested in it. And I’m a serious Twitter user. Now that I’ve been immersing myself in Snapchat, trying to understand not just the mechanics, but the ethos of the platform, I’m seeing more usefulness in brief videos rather than text. There are some things that are just better said than written.
While Snapchat’s very temporal nature can frustrate me, I’ve also come to see value in it, too. When you search on Google there are a lot of times when you don’t want old content. If you’re looking for old content, or something truly evergreen, maybe content older than a year is useful. In many cases, though, it’s junk. Do you want 175,000 results for your query? Rather than being thorough, doesn’t that just reveal that too much is being retrieved? Would be really interesting to see how result sets could be thinned while staying or increasing relevance.
In case you’d like to see what I’m doing on Twitter, you can find me at @joshmccormack.
On Snapchat, I’m joshamccormack.