There are now over two billion people on Facebook. If you take a dark and sardonic view of the famous social media platform, you know that at least one billion of those people are Taylor Swift fans. I'm not one of them (sorry), but I do recognize that she's a major talent.
The question is: Does that warrant her own dedicated social media platform?
A social media app developed by Glu Mobile, set to debut later this year, could make another attempt at creating a platform that exists outside of Facebook. Good luck with that strategy. A video promises to make it all worth your time. Here it is:
At the end of the video, Swift says:
"You are really going to like this. I mean, it would be preferable if you did." Classic.
The frustrating part of this is that we're all to blame. Yet another app intended for loyal followers, and yet another app to manage on our phones.
Again, not to be a downer, but: Will Taylor Swift actually comment or click like on one of your posts in a new social network called The Swift Life? Probably not. Will you see photos of her that you won't see anywhere else? Maybe, but don't hold your breath. Is the word Taymoji now an official trademark? Yes it is. Cue the legal paperwork.
I'm not a hater. It's not my style. (If you must know, I'm more of a Ryan Adams fan, an alt-country star who released a full album cover of 1989. It's awesome.)
Yet, the problem with dedicated apps that try to create their own social media platform is that social media works better when it is all under one big umbrella. On Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram) you can tag your friends and follow wide variety of topics.
I've asked people why they like Instagram so much, and they always say the same thing: tagging friends and sharing photos. You can follow Taylor Swift, but also the Minnesota Vikings, a political blog, and Apple. We all have a limited bandwidth for the apps we use and the topics we follow. Another app called Flipboard is popular because it is so incredibly diverse and far-reaching. It is the news portal for anyone. (Their official tagline is even this: "The one place for all of your interests..." That about covers it.)
When we get more specific, even one level down--such as a social media platform for the iPhone or even all Apple products--we suddenly alienate a lot of people. We can't tag as many of our friends. That wonderful new photo of Taylor Swift might be cool and give you a sense of exclusivity, but in the end, we like to announce our exclusivity to a wide audience.
Having a dedicated social media channel also doesn't make sense since you can easily create groups on Facebook or even create a website with exclusive content. Another social media app means you have to download it, create an account, and then actually remember to use it. The "fresh" content might be nice, but you'll likely still gravitate to Swift's official music videos, discussions about her music on Facebook, and the plethora of images and clips you can find by doing a quick Google search.
A dedicated platform is not the same as exclusivity. We learned that years ago when Google tried to create a social network for the techie elite.
Maybe I'm wrong about this and every artist will have their own platform. Radiohead, U2, Coldplay. I might have hundreds of different apps for all of my favorite artists. I hope not.