According to eMarketer, Facebook lost over 2 million users under the age of 25 in 2018, which set a trend for the entire year of 2019. However, it’s not only Facebook that is losing members but also other social network technology enterprises such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
The problem is not in anything that Mark Zuckerberg did lately. In fact, the reason why general social networks such as Facebook are becoming less interesting is the growing interest in vertical networks.
What Are Vertical Social Networks
A vertical social network is a specifically targeted social network that connects people with very specific interests, hobbies, and passions. In other words, it is a network that caters to a certain category of users who are interested in sharing content and connecting with others over their shared interests.
Users on general social media platforms can easily get lost among all the irrelevant content. However, if they joined a platform that is specifically focused on their main interest, they would find way more value and satisfaction in its purpose. With that said, vertical social networks provide many advantages over broader platforms.
For instance, people can receive specific and targeted content on a daily basis and, even more importantly, connect with people who share the same interests. This relevant connection makes it easier to bond with others and form new friendships, relationships, or even business partnerships.
By joining vertical social networks, users get to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, which is especially important for entrepreneurs, students, athletes, and others who are trying to achieve their full potential at all times.
The rapid advancement in cloud computing made cloud technologies cheaper and more accessible. This enabled the growth of new and unheard of vertical networks, which quickly grabbed the attention of their targeted audiences. These specific vertical networks provide plenty of networking opportunities for people with almost any type of interest out there.
For instance, you will find a variety of vertical social networks catering to different individuals, including Behance, StackOverflow, Goodwall and ResearchGate. Behance is an advanced vertical network for creative individuals. It allows artists and designers to showcase their work and discover new art every day. On 2012, Adobe acquired Behance for $150 million.
On the developers side, StackOverflow, a platform that provides questions and answers related to code development and the surrounding challenges. The platform allows developers to learn and share valuable content, as well as base their career on strong foundations. Developers can also gain reputation points while answering specific questions of other developers and this enhances their technical resumes for their career process.
Another vertical social network platform, Goodwall provides a positive and supportive community for over 1 million students and young professionals to connect and discover opportunities from $1m+ in scholarships to 5m+ jobs and internships. Members support each other to achieve their goals. They share ideas and tips, ask and answer questions, gain recognition and inspiration, and connect on shared interests from social impact to entrepreneurship.
With members across 150+ countries, Goodwall is a good choice for professional social networks out there for Gen Z and millennials. On the researchers side, ResearchGate is the platform for scientists and researchers to share research articles, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by a group of scientists, and has quickly grown to become the biggest networking site for its kind, with over 70 million unique monthly visitors worldwide.
Overall, vertical social networks offer plenty of creative, professional, and personal opportunities for individuals who want to learn, share, or get to know people and content in certain fields. With this trend being on the rise, we can expect vertical networks to grow even further. Especially advancements in cloud technologies enables companies to rise easily in terms of scalability of the platforms, and this lowers the threshold for this kind of companies in many aspects.
Ilker Koksal is a technology entrepreneur, having listed at Forbes 30Under30, Enterprise Technology category. He has founded two startups;
Source: The Rise Of Niche And Vertical Social Networks
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