Facebook and Twitter 'could die overnight if they don't get rid of annoying brands and boring friends'

Dr Jillian Ney warns of a mass exodus from social media

People are growing tired of boring branded content and friends' boasting on Facebook and Twitter and this could lead to a mass exodus from the networks, according to the UK’s first doctor of social media.

Dr Jillian Ney, who studied consumer behaviour and social media at the University of Strathclyde, believes that Facebook and Twitter are failing to filter out content which annoys users, to the point where any post made by an individual, company or brand is just as likely to alienate a portion of their followers as it is to engage or entertain them.

As a result, the world’s leading social networks could face a fatal collapse in users unless they quickly adapt to the evolving demands according to Dr. Ney,  who has now founded a social intelligence consultancy Disruptive Insight.

She told The Independent: “Brands want to engage but they remain in the stages of infancy about understanding their audience and can over post, share the wrong content, the wrong campaign. More work can be done commercially to get the right content out there. This is a much easier fix than individuals posting.

“I personally think that all social networking site filtering options need to be explored.  There is currently more emphasis on who the person who is posting the content wants to share the content with, not so much the person receiving the content. I have recently seen that Facebook are asking more questions about what content you like to try and get relative content into the feed but again this is all algorithm based – it maybe requires a human touch!

Facebook has to design a better experience to remain competitive and needs to rejuvenate to stay current, according to Ney. She added:“Having said that there are many people who will only stick with Facebook, those who have a low affinity to technology.”

“Digital consumers won’t wait long for the major networks to come up with the goods. It may seem a strange thing to suggest when Facebook’s share price is continuing to climb, but the increasing sophistication and expectations of social media users mean that any of the current market-leaders could face wipe out – or at least a significant user exodus - virtually overnight.”

Her personal view is that lots of posting on social media is not a problem, as long as it is tailored to a specific audience. She said that despite her job she has “never really loved social media – I’m not exactly the type of person who shares everything that I do. " Like many people she can find the "constant sharing on inane subjects that is not relevant to me annoying and the same content links being recycled irritate me but at the same time all this oversharing is how my business got started – finding the value in the noise.  The inane topics are only inane until you are looking for them.”

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