By Mitchell Schmale
A recent article in The New York Times shed some light on a growing trend in social media networks and the ways that people connect with one another, not with the largest network of contacts possible, but instead with smaller groups of close friends, colleagues and family members.
Path, GroupMe, Frenzy, Rally Up, Shizzlr, Huddl and Bubbla are all the latest in social media platforms that allow people to connect with friends and contacts in private groups ranging in sizes of 50 people or less. The more intimate groups allow information, links or photos to be shared that may not be of interest (or for that matter appropriate) for someone’s entire list of contacts on Facebook or LinkedIn.
As the need to connect more closely with private groups of contacts in the larger world of social media grows, Facebook recently acquired Beluga, to allow the private sharing of photos and messages with small groups of users. As the trend grows, Facebook reported that as of last month, users had already created more than 50 million private groups with an average of just eight members each.
As Facebook continues to encompass contacts from all parts of someone’s life – personal, professional and otherwise – the trend to create social media boundaries among groups will grow. The applications are popular because they allow users to better categorize contacts to help keep worlds from colliding. The applications allow family members, friends, co-workers, clients, and others to be safely separated in appropriate groups where they only see content that they are interested in receiving, as well as avoid the stuff they are better off not knowing about. It sounds like a good thing for everyone involved, even if you end up missing some of the good stuff.
Mitchell Schmale is Vice President of Maroon PR. Contact him at Mitchell@MaroonPR.com