Bubble! bubble! Pop! Pop! 
(Ooh ooh ooh)

“As of Friday you’ll all be able to buy shares of Facebook. This is perfect for anyone who’s ever logged on, looked at pictures of their friend eating a sandwich, and thought, ‘Now there’s a sound investment.'” –Conan O’Brien

The title of this blog is from the scholarly lyrics of Korean-pop superstar, Kim Hyuna. Nine out of ten businesses use social media. In this day and age, the question is no longer why businesses use social media to their advantage, but why in the world wouldn’t they? For something that every business is using, it must be making a heck of a lot of money right?… Right?

There is a potentially dangerous trend of overvaluing internet companies that depend on an audience that frankly don’t have a lot of money to spend, don’t respond well to layout and platform changes, and have a very low tolerance of actually paying for their services. The result is that many companies like Google and Facebook rely on cleverly placed advertisements to make a profit from being such a recognized name. When Facebook made it’s big announcement that it was going public, it had investors drooling over a sure-fire stock that would take off like a rocket. It’s too bad it ended up being a North Korean rocket (da-dun-chh!).

There is some debate on whether or not this is a real concern or whether it’s just a period of change for the rising influence of online companies that don’t actually make anything, but depend on the idea that everyone is using it. Little kids and stock investors have completely different opinions on bubbles. The big concern is that this is an ever inflating economic bubble that thrives on an audience that basically only remain loyal as long as their friends do. This can lead to a rapid rise and a potentially spectacular fall, being that users have no problem moving on to something else as quickly as Dory from Finding Nemo.

Since the passing of tech visionary Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. been criticized for releasing updated versions of products like the iPhone and iPad that are nowhere near improved enough to justify the retail price. The iPad mini was described by one reviewer as “the retarded stepchild of the Kindle Fire.” And then there was the bold innovation of the iOS6 Maps application.

Oh yeah. It’s that bad. I’ve actually seen some of the digital layouts of highways from my home city, and it looked like the immediate aftermath of Sandy. The good news for Apple is that this doesn’t appear to be hurting sales. They have a fairly loyal base of users, most of whom want to be to cool kid with the new iWhatever, and whom apparently don’t care about major improvements of one product to the next.

 

Thank goodness for narcissism, right? But how long will this acceptance of less than amazing services last? I ask you Facebook and Apple users, are you as enthusiastic about their products and services as you once were? Is this the beginning of the end or just one of the many bumps in the iOS6 road?

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One Response to Bubble! bubble! Pop! Pop! 
(Ooh ooh ooh)

  1. To me, the question you’re asking is basically does customer loyalty still exist with these online-based companies, and I believe the answer is a strong absolutely not. It seems like a large majority of customers/users care about one thing, and that is what product is “hot” at the time. All you have to do is look at the very short history of social media to see what a “flavor of the month” business it is. From Friendster, to MySpace to Facebook, people’s preferences are always changing. If loyalty still existed then Facebook never would have become the biggest social media site in the world. It isn’t like MySpace disappeared and the users needed something new, they just got bored and moved on to the newer and improved option.

    We have become a “what can you do for me now” society, and if the answer is nothing, we move on until a company gives a real answer. Your example of Apple is a good one, because they had what seemed like a complete monopoly on the mobile phone industry for years. There have been recent slip-ups though, and now I swear I see more GSIII’s than IPhone 5’s. People loved Apple because they were a step ahead of everyone else, not because they truly loved the company. It is all about the product and what will give the user/customer the best experience; there are no more loyalties.

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