Just about a year ago there were a variety of unique Social media platforms:
Instagram, where users shared pictures and short 15-second videos
Facebook allowed its users to communicate with friends
Snapchat, where people could share short stories that would disappear in a 24-hour time frame
YouTube allowed bloggers to post unlimited numbers of videos
Periscope was a place to find real-time video streaming people all over the world
Twitter was a popular media platform to share a 140-character post, featuring brief thoughts, news or ads.
Today the walls between all social media become more clear and transparent, as the noticeable consolidation trend takes place.
Instagram users can now stream live videos, stepping on Periscope’s toes, share 24-hour disappearing videos replacing Snapchat and share personal messages, just as Facebook users do. And the result is, the founder of Facebook, Marc Zuckerberg, bought Instagram.
Twitter, on the other hand, moved from 140-character format to 280 characters, and is now able to fit in more news and feedback, much the same as Facebook.
The trend toward consolidation becomes more noticeable every month, not every year. A little over 2 months ago, YouTube started to test community features allowing creators to share text and image based posts, just as Facebook does.
Where is social media going with all consolidation? Will leading social media platforms bring to extinction those which are not as popular? Yes and no. Most likely, there will be 2-3 mainstream social media platforms with similar capabilities and features. Users will be able to choose what they like the most, based on interface (white bird on blue background or a ghost image on yellow background?) of the platform, the social responsibility of a company and the ability of media to protect personal information.