Social Networking Is Out – Attention Grabbing Is In

Social Networking Is Out - Attention Grabbing Is In

In an interesting development, Twitter has changed its listing category in the iTunes App Store from Social Networking to News.

The change worked, as Twitter is now the number one news app on Apple.

While this change might seem insignificant, it is proof that Twitter is no longer (or has it ever been?) a social networking platform.

Twitter has always been about social media attention-grabbing and not so much about connecting users.

TechConnect published an article saying that Social Networking Is Over.

In fact, what the article highlights is that the networking side of social media, which means community building, is diminishing rapidly.

Apart from Facebook, where family and friends groupings are still the dominant, most so-called social media platforms are now, in essence, merely messaging or news platforms.

As messaging is by definition, one to one, the concept of networking is lost.


Social networking and attention-grabbing for self-publishers.

So where does this leave self-publishing authors, who have believed that social networking and social media have been the clear go-to marketing platforms?

Perhaps the best approach is to forget all about networking as a means to connect with new readers, and instead, focus on becoming an attention-grabber and disseminator of interesting, informative or entertaining news.

If Twitter has redefined itself, maybe it’s worth following its lead.

In my experience over the last couple of years, the amount of time I spend communicating with other users on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and all the rest has fallen away to next to nothing.

Nowadays, simply clicking a like button is sufficient to be counted as an interaction. So if that’s all there is to social networking, why bother doing much else?


Do you have your billboard installed?

For a long while now, I have had the feeling that social networking and social media platforms are similar to highways with billboards lining both sides, which serve the function of grabbing attention for only a few seconds.

However, seen often enough, billboards are an effective means of marketing and have been with us since the year dot, so evidently, they must work.

Taking a cue from my billboard theory, it might be that social media platforms should now be considered as the highways we need to line with our online billboards to grab the attention of potential book buyers.

Grab their attention for a few seconds, but then rinse and repeat so they see it again, next time they are on the social media highway.

And after all, hasn’t the Internet always been just one big advertising platform?


More reading: How To Publish A Book The Right Way To Reach More Readers


Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

One thought on “Social Networking Is Out – Attention Grabbing Is In

  • December 29, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Does this mean it’s now OK to shout “Buy my book!”? No more of that “create engagement” stuff?


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.