At the start, social media was undoubtedly a tool for connecting those that may otherwise have remained disconnected. The ability to communicate with someone in a distant land, across various time-zones was one of the primary selling points. However, as time has gone in, social media seems to be less about publicly connecting with those you would never have met in your everyday life, and more about private messaging and creating small, focused groups (more often than not made up of people you already know) to whisper in.
It is these intimate, private and direct messages that may be the downfall of social media analytics - because they are not accessible to the API tools. All that is calculated is the public show that users put on through their social channels - but is this losing meaning?
So, is the fire of social media dying down? Well, for some clients it definitely still has it's place. However, as more and more social media interaction moves from the public view and into the private, we'll need to think of new ways to collect meaningful data.
One of the great promises of the social media era was that it would offer the un-empowered a megaphone to the world. Suddenly anyone anywhere in the world would be on equal communicative footing with the most powerful and moneyed elite, shining a global spotlight on inequality and toppling repressive regimes with a single post. Yet, that vision appears to be quickly fading. Instead it is the other promise of social media, of connecting people through private (and increasingly ephemeral) conversations that is dominating the social revolution. As social media is spreading like wildfire across the world, it is less and less a megaphone and more and more a private club where members gather in a myriad private rooms.