Top 5 Social Media Saas of 2012

Social media SaaS is all the rage for communications and sharing of ideas in the modern internet climate. It’s one of the newer SaaS models out there, and in just a handful of years, it has mushroomed into one of the most popular applications of SaaS around.

With the popularity of SaaS and social media platforms, let’s take a look at the top 5 social media SaaS platforms in use right now.

Perhaps we can learn what they’re doing right, and what they’re doing wrong, and contribute to the betterment of SaaS and digital sociability as a whole. Perhaps …

Number 1 – Twitter

You were probably expecting something a little older for the number 1 entry in this list, such as MySpace or Facebook. No, Twitter wins this spot, and for a very specific reason. While it certainly has its share of contributions to nonsense and unproductivity often stereotypically associated with social media, this platform has made positive contributions to the world.

Twitter was used in the apprehension of terrorist leaders on more than one organization, where it served as a discreet way to transmit small bursts of information for soldiers and strategists to coordinate. Facebook never did that.

Twitter is also an excellent way to contact famous and important people in a non-threatening manner.

Twitter users tend not to have a mental filter, resulting in inescapable regrettable things being said, which then become immortal. Twitter allows a very limited length per post which can be prohibitive.

Number 2 – Google +

Google + is a recently-developed social media SaaS that integrates with the multifaceted Google services platform including mail, maps, drive and YouTube. Google + brings nothing new to the social interaction aspect of social networking in and of itself, rather than the convenience of it being centralized with the other nigh-standard Google services.

However, Google + brings about an advent in consumer advisory capabilities that is changing the way companies must regard bad PR with customers. Google + Local, a subset of the Google + network allows integration with maps and searches for users to leave reviews of businesses and services they have sampled, as well as locations and even towns and cities.

This centralization of user reviews with the same search and mapping subset that users already access to shop for locations and establishments provides advanced warning from users to other users when a service is behaving disreputably.

Google + is a bit confusing to interact with as a direct social network tool, however, and it has a bad habit of shoving itself down the throats of users who don’t want to use its dimension of Google services.

Number 3 – Facebook

Surprised that Facebook is only number 3? Well, Facebook earns credit for being the first widely-accepted social media SaaS, but it has some drawbacks. While it is a good way for long-distance friends and family to keep in contact, it greatly reduces the mental filter and privacy which was mentioned above when regarding Twitter.

However, its usefulness as a passive communication tool between friends, family and colleagues still earns it an important spot on this list. It has become famous for its integration of casual games by companies like Popcap and Zynga as well, which earns it a spot this high, otherwise it would’ve been at 5.

Number 4 – DeviantArt

DeviantArt is a social media SaaS gallery system for writers and artists of various types and interests to share their vision and creativity with one another. It’s also a great portal for artists to be discovered by potential patrons and employers, and is also rather useful as a host for portfolios. Its wide definition for “art” gives the greatest range of artistic interests to be explored and expressed, including various forms of written word, animation and traditional visual arts as well.

DeviantArt has an arcane fascination with certain censorship notions, they tend to overdo it with the AJAX design, and their tech support lacks much in the way of consideration or courtesy, unceremoniously locking users out for random maintenance.

Number 5 – Tumblr

Tumblr is a different animal, a non-linear forum/blog system where users can sequentially post writing and other data of interest to them within their own channel in a freeform manner.

Other users may also contribute or subscribe to their threads and channels, allowing variably-sized circles of shared interest to form easily on Tumblr. It’s basically the YouTube of journalism and written expression.

Tumblr’s design is a bit outdated, and they have a habit of ascribing to some of DeviantArt’s arcane censorship philosophies as well.

So, we’ve seen some of the problems with this flavor of SaaS, and we’ve seen the many benefits. Ultimately, social media is a way for everyone to be heard, and for everyone to express themselves, but censorship and egotism tend to be issues with this platform. Also, people seem to have yet to realize that nothing they say on these platforms will ever go away nor be invisible.

However, it goes without saying that the good outweighs the bad when regarding social media SaaS , for sure.

Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
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