Social Media to Private Media

A Shift From Social Media To Private Media?

A Shift From Social Media To Private Media?

The last six months have borne witness to a number of trends that may mark the beginning of the shift from social media to private media. This trend can be demonstrated through the following developments from social media platforms. These include:

  • Instagram launched its own private direct messaging service in 2014. The service focusses on sharing content with up 15 individuals in a threaded approach.
  • Twitter has experimented with a variety of private features, these range from a Snapchat styled doodle feature through to photo editing. The most notable move to private realm is the fact the platform has increased the character limit of its private messaging feature.
  • Facebook has been focussing extensively on its new Messenger feature, which now supports scannable codes, individual user names and links. This latest link based update enables users to create a unique Messenger URL that will offer users and businesses heightened levels of discovery within the private sphere.
  • Further moves from Facebook emphasis this trend to the private. Namely, that the platform has already commenced to position pages and ad units that include a dedicated “message the brand” option. Analysists have already begun to predict that Facebook is positioning its Messenger platform as its primary commerce vehicle for the future.
  • The final piece of evidence is perhaps the most revealing. Namely that for the first time in reported history the combined usage level of the four most popular messaging apps has actually exceeded the equivalent usage level of the four most popular social media apps. Factors which have been attributed to the redistribution of popularity are the decline in data prices, lower costs of devices and an overall increase in the quality of features.

But What Does This Mean For Marketing?

Conversational Moments:

This shift is likely to mark a shift from the current social media goal of mass relevance and engagement to measuring success through the metric of achieving engagement through private, meaningful conversational moments. The way in which brands measure the effectiveness of this will be achieved and how brands will accomplish this shift remains to be seen.


Presently Facebook is in the process of developing smart bots that are able to hold conversations which are human-like. This technology appears to be paramount in presenting brands with a means of engaging on a large scale with the new private media phenomenon. The main goal for brands here will be successfully integrating adverts and brand marketing messages into a conversation in way which is neither intrusive or weird.