What social networks will survive in the future?

Path is one new social network competing for our attention

This is a question we’re always asked.  It’s usually phrased as “what comes after Facebook” but the sentiment is the same.

I think the key response is that social networks in some form or other are here to stay.

A social network is a digital mapping of your relationships and  tools to communicate with them.

I believe that in the future most users will want to maintain the following social networks of these approximate sizes:

  1. A social network (120 friends and family) for general communications
  2. An email network (400) for direct person to person communications
  3. A telephone network (16) for your most important friends
  4. A business network (50-100 people) for people you do business with
  5. A games network (5-10 people) for people you play games with.
  6. A number of specific interest networks (10-1000) people (eg. sports, religion, hobbies, special interest groups)

From a strategic point of view you can see the major networks competing to provide more features – Facebook is launching email to take control of both your social and email network for example. Google just tried to buy Path for an eye-watering $120m.

They will always be competing with new social networks will continue to spring up as technology changes – for example Path is a social network designed around your location, Blippy is a social network around what you purchase.

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