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The social media industry: where is it heading?

Yanli Zhang (Management Department, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA)
Huy Will Nguyen (Management Department, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA)
Young Hoon Jung (Management Department, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA)
Isabelle Yi Ren (Management Department, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 6 March 2023

Issue publication date: 15 February 2024

1062

Abstract

Purpose

The social media industry has entered a new stage with intensifying competition and heightened uncertainty about future directions. The purpose of this paper is to provide analyses of the current challenges and to identify industry-wide trends that may offer a roadmap for the future.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on publicly available key performance metrics, company reports and press reports, this paper offers critical analyses of the challenges facing the major social media platforms and new trends in the social media industry.

Findings

This study identified five major trends in the current social media industry: 1) content is king, and that content is moving to visual; 2) artificial intelligence is key to competitive advantage; 3) network effects still matter, but business model innovation can overcome that barrier; 4) the need to broaden revenue sources; and 5) the strive for the everything app. In this changing environment, social media companies need to adapt and innovate their business models proactively to stay ahead.

Originality/value

This paper not only sheds light on the current challenges of individual social media platforms but also identifies industry-wide trends that may apply across all platforms. Taken together, these insights paint a comprehensive picture of the current industry landscape, as well as offer clues about its future directions.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, Y., Nguyen, H.W., Jung, Y.H. and Ren, I.Y. (2024), "The social media industry: where is it heading?", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 81-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBS-12-2022-0209

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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