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Is Social Media Sustainable?

9th August 2016 | Jenna Vernon

In the wake of yet more changes to social platforms (if you haven’t heard about Instagram Stories yet, here’s everything you need to know), it’s difficult not to question how the industry can continue to scale long-term.

Don’t get me wrong, the news of Instagram’s blatant copy of Snapchat Stories has caused plenty of excitement for the self-proclaimed social nerds here at eight&four, but it does highlight how competing platforms have no qualms about publicly sabotaging their rivals.

Facebook’s team is strong with Instagram in its corner, but whilst Twitter seems to have dwindled Snapchat has remained powerful in its stance to offer a relatively new social experience – until now!

So, what does this mean?

As exciting as the rivalry is for onlookers, platforms deviating from their original purpose can be a cause for concern for brands who are investing in social media strategies based upon the use and value of each social channel. 

Yes, channels should evolve; it’s natural and necessary if they stand a chance of remaining relevant long term. But is there a point at which channels need to priorities consumers vs. brands?

We’re now in an era of brands investing in social media as a core-marketing channel, but there’s a real risk of those investments being focused on fewer channels if these merges continue.

For now, at least, the way we see it is there’s some healthy competition among the leading social channels, which is an exciting time for individuals and brands alike. Let’s hope the changes over the next weeks, months and years allow social media to be a sustainable marketing funnel for brands – a value that so far has been hugely transformational.