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We are in a social, goldrush bubble era and we have literally “run out of time” to give to the increasing social services and applications that are proliferating on the internet, says George Colony, the boss of Forrester Research.
He believes that the current crop of trendy social businesses like the location-based, check-in social network, Foursquare, are “nonsense” — and they will eventually be swept away in a new “post-social era”. This is because these services require more time of users… time that users cannot give.
Colony says that people in the Western world are “using social” more than they are volunteering, praying, using the phone, emailing and exercising. In fact we are using social just a little bit less than shopping and childcare.
“We believe social is running out of hours. We’ve reached the limit of hours that people can give to social,” he says.
“If you are building social platforms that require more time of users, you will not be successful. And we believe this will sweep away some of the nonsense like Foursquare and some of these time-wasting social applications and we are going to move to a post-social world which is a bit like the web in the mid 2000s… the pets.com era of the internet. ”
He says that social is also running out of people. In emerging market territories, specifically Asia and South America, we are seeing social penetration upwards of 90%. In the US and Europe we are seeing penetration of around 80%. What Colony is saying is that there are no more people left to target.
The next social wave
Colony reckons that the “next wave of social” will involve applications that are more efficient, faster, easier to use and have a higher “value-to-time proposition” than the current market players.
“There will be a new wave in the post social world of new players. The post social players will dominate,” he says.