As most of you know, I’ve been blogging about EMR and Healthcare IT for almost 8 years now. This was well before Facebook was more than just a website for college students. The word Twitter had not even been uttered. LinkedIn was basically an online resume with very few social features and Google hadn’t really even thought about doing anything social. Myspace was certainly around battling with the likes of Hi5 and Friendster, but they weren’t really great for business (unless you were in the music business).
Think about the explosion that happened with social media over a 3-5 year span. Facebook went mainstream. Twitter blew up. LinkedIn became social. Google launched Google Plus and bought YouTube which is pretty social as well. It was a really exciting and fun time to be participating in what we now call social media. At the time we honestly didn’t know what it was going to become.
As I think back on the development of these social media platforms, I ask: “Where’s the next social media platform?”
You could certainly make the case for some more recent entrants to social media like: Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and even SnapChat. At a recent conference I heard someone say that Instagram is the new Facebook. I can see this happening for many people, because the best part of Facebook was people’s pictures. Of course, Instagram and Vine have already been bought by Facebook and Twitter, so we’ll see how those platforms grow from here.
My problem is that I haven’t found the image and video focused platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine to be great platforms for something like healthcare. Sure, there are niche areas of healthcare that do really well with images and short videos. Although, most of those are also essentially an extension of Twitter or some other social media platform. I would like to see what someone as creative as ZDoggMD could do with an instagram or vine account. I just don’t see the masses being able to really influence healthcare IT using those platforms.
One platform that’s really interested me lately is YouTube. While not a new social media platform, I feel like it’s been reimagined thanks to things like G+ Hangouts. While hangouts aren’t perfect, they’ve made it simple and effective to create videos for distribution. I believe in the platform so much that I’m creating a whole Fall schedule of EHR and Healthcare IT video interviews.
I just wonder what social media platform will come next. Have social media platforms reached a form of maturity that they’ve covered all our communication needs? When you think about the forms of communication: text, picture, audio, and video, all of the current social media platforms have these covered. Is there something that’s still missing from social media today?
One area I’ve been thinking a lot about is mobile. Could a mobile social media platform be a game changer? We already do many of the above social platforms on mobile devices, but could there be something about mobile that makes a new social platform unique?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Will we see new social media platforms come?