Social Apps Have Limited Lifespans

by Jay Deragon on 01/03/2012

2011 brought an explosion of social applications for literally every vertical market and consumer habit of the month. Soon we will see consolidation for providers, users and marketers.

Social applications are designed to connect everyone with everything in real time. Mobile integration of social applications now allow us to remotely turn our lights on or off at home, peek in on our children, start and turn off our cars, find our “closest” friends (location), check out at retailers with our mobile phone and last but not least find the cheapest of anything, anytime and anywhere again in real time.  People and things have all merged into social.

Consolidation Has To Happen

Right now we have too many choices to make in terms of which applications enable us to connect to people and things we want to associate with . Within every vertical there are dozens of social applications vying for our time and attention with little real differential over any of them.  When consumers have too many choices they ultimately choose to consolidate their time and attention for the purposes of gaining more time and attention.

Certain ideas have a limited lifespan.

When a company that implements an idea hits the point that that idea is no longer all that viable in the long term, it’s chances of success in the next related business are still not all that high.  Think about all the companies and applications that were once a hit only to fizzle out because something better came along and came along really fast.

We are all being surrounded with social apps on our mobile device, computers, TV’s, from merchants, marketers and local organizations all vying to get our attention and our wallets. The problem for them and for us is that in a hyper market of explosive creativity a new application comes along once a month only to compete in the same space as the previous application. The difference between the new and the old is the functions and features that enhance the users experience and provides more value.

The lifespan of an applications is limited by the attention span of the user.  If an application does not keep one engaged, create ongoing value and do so seamlessly then it loses our attention and our perception of value. And we wonder why Facebook keeps changing the rules, the features and the functions so often. They understand the market dynamic of limited lifespans coincide with limited attention spans.

Any idea, application or product that cannot keep a market engaged over time has a limited lifespan. Engagement and value added are the keys to an extended lifespan in a hyper marketplace with attention deficit.


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