Social media just got more interesting as Facebook stonewalls Twitter’s Vine application from integrating with its own platform. This sparring match first began when Twitter blocked Instagram links from opening directly on its site. Now irked, Facebook moved to close access to Yandex, the Russian social search app, as well as Voxer’s messaging service. With a start like this, 2013 could prove to be a conflicting year for social media as the big get bigger and the walls get higher. This trend for independence has businesses in the tech industry pushing for widespread services of their own. The movement is evident with actions like Google going social, Facebook introducing Graph Search and acquiring Instagram, Yahoo acquiring Flickr, and Twitter introducing Vine. In contrast, these portfolio upgrades also come with a negative side as they build walls between platforms curbing the openness and integration of their user’s media.
While Android finds satisfaction in higher levels of openness companies like Apple have made the choice to become more independent. Apple’s iOS6 walled off Google Maps and continued to launch their own map application for its users. However, most users found this to be a downgrade and opted to install Google Maps anyways. Google’s CEO, Larry Page stated that they found greater success with getting their product out there on the web, but now with many new platforms it feels like they are taking a step backwards. This happens because companies are trying to wall everything off, seeking a superior social platform while impeding on the rate of innovation.
When it comes to social media companies the people are the product and as such we build the company’s reputation and credibility. What makes sharing media more enjoyable is the compatibility between said platforms allowing us to share with our entire network. Users expect their customer experience to be able to be spread throughout all chosen channels of service. But when Facebook blocks compatibility from complimentary companies such as Voxer and Vine they diminish the enjoyment and usefulness of their own service.
As the battle continues for the one stop, superior social network Facebook’s size and social information search makes them a clear contender. But, applications like Graph Search encourage rising concern for how social networks will actually use our private data. A sure guess is to say that these companies will continue to fight for openness and will be under close examination by privacy advocates.