New Trends in Social Media and Social Networking for 2018
A Case Study: Befilo Automatic Friending Network
By Befilo Team
The number of social media and/or social networking websites is on a rapid increase, though only a few of them are famous globally. Almost everyone on the planet knows about giants like facebook or twitter, but few people know about the fact that there are a few hundred social networks currently operating with a membership ranging from a few hundred millions to a few thousands.
That the conventional social networking cake is fragmenting rapidly is beyond dispute. But then the question arises: Why need another social platform when there are readily available many, one may ask. The question is almost identical to human history; why need one more pair of shoose when one already has many? Just as we all have our own answers to this historical question, so is valid the reason d’etre of each new social network platform.
New Approaches, New Tecnology + A Basic Human Instinct
While many tend to think that there is no more room for yet another social network because the sector is already dominated by the giants, there still can be many reasons for a new social network to come into existence. For instance, a new social network can come up with brand-new features which have not been thought of before; it can better adjust the fast-changing communication technologies; or rather simply, the users can just get bored with the existing social networks and strive for a change.
Different approaches to social networking, new technological and communicational discoveries and that basic instinct of humanity for the new, are some of the factors contributing to the emergence of new social networks. In anycase, it would be in place to approach the social networking culture as a continuously evolving phonemenon, not as a static and finite one.
And current number and variety of social networks does confirm the validity of the above facts. Among the many thousands of social networking ventures, there easily are a few hundred social networks which currently operate with significant amounts of membership. It is true that not each of them has billion members like facebook; but how about having a few hundred millions, or even a few tens of millions users? If we may be permitted to see it as a competition, silver or even bronze medals can stil bring some satisfaction, when one can’t get the gold medal. Needless to say, this trend, namely the emergence of new social Networks, will only increase in 2018, given the fact that social networking scripts are getting cheaper and more efficient than before.
A More Fragmented Social Media and Social Networking Experince for 2018 and Beyond
This is not to deny the fact that the internet is a graveyard of given-up social network ventures. As the social networking scripts and technology is getting cheaper and readily available online, it becomes all the more appetizing and easy to just buy a script for as cheap as $50, install it on an even cheaper server and there goes another social network.
Not surprisingly, the majority of the newly blossomed social Networks are just given up by their creators after a few months. Because the scripts themselves can not gather the people; that requires much more, and at times very painfull, efforts to start to roll the wheel.
But all in all, the current level of technology has made it, at least theoretically, possible for everyone to be a Mark Zukerberg in their own way. And while the majority of the ventures can not manage to survive in the social networking jungle, there is of course a certain percentage that does escape all the troubles and reaches a stable plateau. In fact, these are the ones that deserve attention.
As firmly established by the countless lessons of the history, any absurd idea, any weird invention does have the potential to be embraced by the individuals and societies, provided that it offers itself, or at least seems to offer itself, as a solution to some sort of problem or necessity. And when and if this potential is supported with internsive efforts, a brand-new relating culture and some fashionable novelty legendaries, some degree of succes is almost sure to follow. Many tools and services of our daily life nowadays, which seem so inevitable and indispensable today, were probably considered –and in some cases violently rejected- as absurd and unnecessary when they were first introduced.
So all these historical lessons and experinces can fully be applied to our glorious social media and social networking age. It is in this context that the existence of many hundred social network ventures becomes plausible. In fact, on one hand we will probably continue to see it as an social media inflation, and on the other hand we will not refrain from getting closer to them, and most probably giving them a try. Because each of these social networking platforms has this or that unique feature that does not exist elsewhere and we will probably find it convincing. Consequently, more new social network platforms will come into existence in 2018 and some of them, if not all of them, will secure their share of a firm ground.
The Case of Befilo: A Radical Change in Social Media and Social Network Experience
So after all that critical talk about new social networking platforms, perhaps it is time to come to the case of Befilo, which at the end of the day, is a very new social network. We will not take refuge in contradiction, so all the above arguments are also valid for Befilo. In that sense, we too may well be considered as contributing to the social media inflation by increasing the figures with yet another item. That being said, we have a strong feeling that we are not only offering one of those solutions to one of those problems in social media industry, but more importantly we are openning doors to an absolutely new and different social media and social networking experince for 2018 and for the years to come. Perhaps the basics of Befilo Project will tell more than dry words, so let’s dive in.
But first, let us briefly answer the question: What is Befilo? The shortest answer is that Befilo is a social networking website allowing its users to interact with each other by creating and sharing content in multiple forms. Beside the classical social network features, Befilo has some unique features which don't exist in any other social media networks. In that sense, Befilo could well be considered as a revolution in the social media so far.
The idea to create a social network such as Befilo, emerged when we discovered the meaninglessness of the harsh barriers put between the users by the conventional social networks. While those networks would certainly have their own reasons in doing so, we thought it could well be possible to approach social networking from a totally different perspective. And so we dared to ask that hard question: What would happen when all the barriers between the users are removed? The answer to that question turned out to be Befilo! A social network where everybody is automatically friend with everybody...
The idea, or rather the intention, here is very simple and perhaps somewhat naive. We all come to this life with huge possibilites of being friends. Even if in time, and with the direction of our life, we usually narrow down our perspectives, that huge ocean of possibilities is always there, waiting to be discovered. And here at Befilo, we turned this understanding to a sort of start-up credit. The motto is: Let everybody be friend with everybody! And again let them to decide whether or not to remain as friends.
To put it in technical words, Befilo allows all its existing network members to be friends automatically. This means that as soon as new users register, they automatically become friend with all existing network members. Thanks to this unique feature of Befilo, all that hassle about friendship requests, approvals and rejections is now a history! Now, social network users don't have to spend huge amounts of time (and sometimes money) to build friends and followers anymore. They will be readily waiting for a new friend as soon as the registration is completed. In time, as Befilo grows, every user will have millions of friends and followers. One doesn't, anymore, have to be a celebrity, or a globally known figure, or a giant multinational company to be followed by millions. Being an ordinary Befilo social network member will be enough to reach a huge audience, similar to that of the celebrities. This is a revolution in social media history so far.
How this social media revolution will affect the current global social networking culture remains to be seen. But as Befilo evolves in time, perhaps we shall alltogether witness some significant shifts in the global social media habitat. But one thing is very clear: As Befilo grows, it will put an unbeliavable power into the hands of its users. How they will use this power is yet to be seen.
Expectations, Fears, Limitations
We can not be only optimist about our social media revolution, as, like all the revolutions in the history, it may have its dark sides. Considering that all the members are automatically friends and the volume of network activities is high, it is almost certain that there will be some exploiting, manipulation and disturbing cases. It is an established fact that even the biggest social networks of the world have not been able to reduce such misuse down to zero. This being said, we have put together some measures and limitations for immediate reaction against the misconduct.
Blocking: If a user finds any of their friends to be abusive in their network activity and decide to rather not have them as friends, the roadmap is very simple and fast; user will just click on the icon with red bit next to every user name. By doing so, the disturbing friend will be blocked and removed from among the network friends in a very simple and fast way. But Befilo strongly advises its members to try to use this feature wisely and not turn to a killer that easily! It should be kept in mind that, instead of blocking a friend forever, the specific activity of that user can be reported, and thus still keeping them as friends. Meanwhile, the blocked users will also be closely monitored; if the blockage rate on a user increases fast, Befilo will intervene in its own way.
Limits on Messages, Posts and Attachments: As another set of measures, we have put certain limitations to the user activity. A user can only post 3 times a day; a user can only send 5 private messages a day; a user can add only one photo/multimedia to each post; a user can only add 5 photos + 1 video to the profile. We believe that all these measures and limitations will effectively keep the network safe and enjoyable for all the members. And needless to say, all the members are also expected –and invited- to keep in mind that they also have their share of responsibility in keeping the place clean and tidy.
Dealing With Multi Culters Under One Roof: Using Befilo Modes to Be Both Local and Global
As the conventional barries between the network members are totally removed, a few other critical issues do arise, considering the huge volume of network activity from around the world. How all those members from so many different countries and languages will interact with each other as friends? To address this question, we have mastered three unique modes to allow the users to be both local and global.
This is the default Befilo mode when posting an update or checking friend's updates on the home page. In simple words, if you have something to tell or show to all the world, meaning to all network members, you post it to World Mode. This mode should be considered as the global marketplace in Befilo. The critical issue here is that, if you are posting text content to World Mode, you should always try to post it in English so that it would be understandable by the users who will probably not know your local language. But the content like pictures and videos can of course be fine to be sent to World Mode.
There will definately be cases when you would want to tell or show something specific, not to all the world, but to a specific country or countries. For such cases you have the Country Mode. To send any content that you deem specific to a country or countries, you should use the Country Mode. For example, you may want to post something about the election results in France; you just select France from the Country Mode and post it there. On the other hand, you may want to see what is going on in France; in that case you select France from the Country Mode in the homepage to see the posted content there. Keep in mind that, when posting and when reading the posts, you can always select multiple countries.
The Language Mode functions in a similar way to the Country Mode. Sometimes you may want to prefer language rather than the country. Because in the globalized world of today when everybody lives everywhere, languages are not limited with their respective countries anymore. It could, therefore, be more practical to select language rather than the country. The process is just the same; let's say you want to say something to spanish speaking world. You select spanish from the Language Mode and post there. And again, if you want to have a look at what's happening in the spanish speaking world, you just select spanish from the Language Mode in the homepage. Similar to Country Mode, when posting and when reading the posts, you can always select multiple languages.
And lastly about the modes, you can switch between the modes very easily and quickly with just one click. Needless to say, to secure the best experience for all network members, these three modes should be used wisely. Any irrelevant content in the modes will almost surely be dismissed by network members.
All in all, we strongly believe that with its automatic friending feature and its three unique modes, Befilo will open a new horizon in front of our current global social networking culture in 2018 and years to come.