Public vs. Private Social Networks: Why We Are in Desperate Need of One-on-One ‘Social Quality Time’

By: Sofie De Beule

February 10, 2014

social networking

Before the rise of Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram, “old” social networks (like Facebook and Twitter) were the place to be where everyone could spill their guts and share every aspect of their daily lives.

However, more and more brands see great opportunity in developing strategies for other social networks that focus entirely on ephemeral content (e.g. Snapchat) or short-form visual content (like Vine and Instagram).

But more importantly, the biggest focus for new buzzing social networks is user privacy. People want to interact with their actual friends or disappear in total anonymity to reclaim their “lost” social status since social media became “a maintstream thing”.

More and More People Recapture Their Own Private Online Paradise

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 25, chances are you vividly remember the day your grandmother “friended” you on Facebook. Because literally everyone is on Facebook (or once was), the early adopters started looking for new social networks to rediscover their “coolness” again.

Consequently, youngsters are taking to new social networks like Whisper, Confide, and Secret. These online private spaces give back the possibility to anonymously send out every single thought and notion, stupid or otherwise, that enter their thoughts.

The liberating feeling of not having to worry about your image (hence the awareness on Facebook) allows them to connect and build meaningful relationships in a community built around trust and honesty.

There is now a new addition to the private social networks in the App Store called Wut. This extremely simple app is comprised of a text screen with a fluorescent background. Once you’ve typed in what you want to say, it shoots out as a push notification to all of your friends. Luckily, you never reveal who you are.

Huge Focus on One-on-One Quality Conversations

People shift from mainstream social networks to private ones in order to escape the constant flow of baby pictures and avoid distant acquaintances who insist on liking every single one of your photos.

People don’t necessarily totally opt out, however, they choose to trim down their social networking. The masses are also aware of the amount of information they give away online via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and take to other more private social networks to establish quality one-on-one conversations.

A private network, like Snapchat or messaging app Whatsapp, can greatly benefit engagement and centralizes the conversation with a single friend. Although these types of social networks consist of very simple elements, they provide high quality and valuable experiences.

Don’t Neglect The Power of Public Social Networks

With all of that said, posting items in public is a good thing! It’s important to keep enough information about yourself available so potential connections can easily track you to make those important introductions. Obviously, you have to keep an eye on what you post and who gets to see it.

Most social networks have varying degrees of privacy. For example, it’s not a good idea to protect your tweets on Twitter because it creates confusing replies when people respond to you and limits the possibility for other to retweet you. Overall, it makes your Twitter account meaningless.

Obviously, the world of social media is an awesome place! Sharing your content with a lot of people can be a very valuable thing. However, it’s a logical next step to see people gradually moving towards other alternatives to establish some valuable “alone time” with their closest friends and family.