I think it really started with Google +. G+ made it clear from the start that they preferred original content and would reward companies that made the effort to post at G+ first. Shortly after that, Facebook — the platform with the most to lose in a war with Google — stopped allowing autoposting of blogs to pages with their Notes app.
Now Twitter will no longer automatically send your tweets along to LinkedIn. LinkedIn will send your posts to Twitter with a checkbox. Pinterest also sends pins (or rather, their links and descriptions) to Twitter by the same means. However, LinkedIn will only autopost blog feeds from WordPress and Typepad, and not in your status stream, but at the bottom of your page where most people will never see them. It won’t push them along to Twitter automatically, either: you’ll have to post about your blog post at LinkedIn and manually check the box to tweet your update.
Pinterest doesn’t allow autoposting and doesn’t have any social media tools hooked up yet, either. G+ doesn’t have autposting options, and also won’t send to Twitter.
What are the consequences of this series of changes? The most obvious one is that people are beginning to have to choose among the platforms. When you could post your blog and have it go automatically to each of the Big Three, there was no reason to pick one. Now, the most efficient option is to autopost to Twitter and ignore the others. The second most efficient is to post at LinkedIn or Facebook and send your post automatically to Twitter. In other words, you no longer have to go to Twitter at all. You can see which of the other platforms gives you the most mileage and go there.
There can be other consequences — ones that affect our businesses and even our lives rather than the social media platforms. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios.
The first is the one we’re mourning a little over here at Haden Interactive. A company has a different audience at each of the Big Three: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We write a great blog post and it goes automatically to each of the platforms, allowing the company’s followers to see it wherever they happen to connect with the company — extending the value of the blogging at no extra cost to the company.
That was a good, economical system, but it hasn’t been an option for a while.
The second is a company that autotweets spammy messages and ads all day, pushing those tweets to Facebook and LinkedIn, where they show up in people’s streams because they’ve joined the same groups. This is irritating, and is causing plenty of people to rejoice that it won’t be happening any more. We’re talking right now with a company which, while not spammy, has an identical news feed at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook — even though they curate that steam carefully, it’s obviously not social interaction and little of it brings people to the company’s website.
The company, in our imaginary scenario, sees the error of its ways and focuses on one of the social media platforms or hires social media management to keep up with all three, making the investment required to participate well and become a good member of the community, with unique content and human interactions with other individuals. The additional cost provides ROI that makes it worthwhile. This would be a good outcome, and it’s what the social media platforms have in mind.
In other words, the consequences of this change can be good or bad, depending on whether you used the tools appropriately in the past or not. How long does it take to post your blog to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter manually? I turned on my timer while I posted this at all three sites, and it came to six minutes, counting a response or two to people who had spoken to me overnight. It can certainly become a longer time commitment if you start reading everyone’s updates, but the additional time to do the essentials isn’t that much.