I see long tails all over the place these days. Its probably something to do with the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson that I finished reading a while ago. A long tail market is one where the diverse needs of every consumer are met regardless of what makes them tick. I got to thinking about social networking and what happens once it goes beyond the masses. Will there eventually be social networks for every possible interest and segment of the population? Why not? the technology is there to do it and likely the demand too. I decided to do some research….
First everyone flocked to Facebook and MySpace – these are the popular “hit” services today with millions joining and interacting daily but change is afoot. I began to notice long tail applications within MS and FB such as the facebook dog club a social network for pooches (that incedentaly has over 270,ooo users) then I began to receive invites from other social networking applications aimed at niche segments such as Melcrum the social network for communicators, O’jeez the social network for entrepreneurs , and Naymz for professionals. Looking on Wikipedia for a list of social network I found 90 in categories ranging from football to gothic industrial culture.
Social networking is the perfect application to reach long tail maturity rapidly and I predict that today’s 90 social network sites will grow quickly to encompass corporate networking requirements as well as the networking needs of individuals no matter how diverse.