Bri Manning

WordPress, LinkedIn Sharing and the Separation of Social Networks

November 11, 2013

Last Friday, I posted a picture of Rugby sprawled on my bed. I was trying out the WordPress iOS app to post the picture and everything worked really smoothly. One issue is that I had automatic sharing to LinkedIn enabled on my WordPress install and no option to disable that for this post. Not that it’s a big deal, but there are certain things I’m not looking to share with LinkedIn so much. Like my bedroom and dog – they ┬ájust don’t need to be on there.

There’s been a fair amount of discussion about how people use different social networks. LinkedIn for professional use, Twitter for news, Facebook for friends or at least people you met once, Google+ for Android lovers and Facebook haters (at least that’s what mine is), Instagram for the kids (and feeling artsy with filtered photos at least initially), Snapchat for the nothing messages, silliness and kids, Foursquare for location, Viddy and Vine for the people who think photos are so 2011, YouTube to get famous or go viral, Vimeo to feel better about yourself than YouTube, Tumblr for everything and feeling creative and emotional, Path for those closest to you (though it seems like the people really close to me won’t use Path), Pinterest for ideas, inspirations and picture saving, that’s not even starting with the Mobli, Gifboom, Cinemagram and similar. Hopefully soon Clique and Epic are up there with the big ones on that list, but it’s too early to see.

The point is that despite all of these services (and more) competing with one another for a user’s time and attention (not to mention competing with games and other snackable content), they still fill very specific roles and niches. While there is overlap from one to another, there are certain things that just wouldn’t make their way over. LinkedIn is the most obvious – my hiking pictures won’t make it there. Similarly, Facebook won’t hear about recent work updates (unless there’s a job or role change – got to keep that profile current!). And I don’t post all my viddys to YouTube – some are way too silly or short, others a bit more interesting. Nor do all my Instagram pictures make it to Twitter and Facebook (my mom gives me a hard time every single time I take a picture that has bacon in it, ug). The same picture from Snapchat of overeating late-night fries is not going to make it to Instagram either.

It’s remarkable that in this world of total overload and options, with all of these companies being bought out, IPOing or making massive profits, there’s room for them all, but there is. They all serve a different purpose and fill a niche. Sometimes there are niches that are underserved or not quite understood – look at how Instagram snuck in on Facebook’s previous domination of photo sharing – or how Snapchat is sneaking in on photos and messaging in general.

That possibility for disruption will always be there because you’re competing for someone’s time. There’s no need for a better Facebook, Instagram, etc, there’s just an opportunity for someone to think their time is better spent on something else.

There are probably more productive things for time than social media, but hey, that’s the world we live in.