Big tech firms currently dominate, but new ideas that include interactive maps could be the future
If you’re a business owner you’ve probably long figured out by now that without video in your social media marketing, it’s not social media marketing. The phenomenal rise of TikTok shows just how powerful even a 15-second clip of something interesting, funny, silly, or even downright inane can be in capturing the attention of millions – or even tens of millions. Video is a medium like no other, and yet it isn’t being fully utilized by many of us, especially as a localized, neighborhood-centric tool.
What is this neighborhood-centric concept? It’s the idea that there are plenty of interesting people that would make great work or personal connections, but we’re not finding them because the current most popular social media apps focus more on spreading a large net. But when a net is too large, smaller fish tend to escape. For the most part, companies haven’t given us the tools that teach people how to use social media to engage your local community.
There have been apps that have sort of tried to localize content. But they’ve come and gone without leaving much of a mark. One major reason these flash-in-the-pan ideas didn’t take root is that they still suffered from trying – continuing the fishing metaphor – to cast too wide a net. A new video-sharing app however promises something that almost every reviewer is touting as a potential game changer.
Let’s say you’ve recently moved to a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina and you are a big fan of Taiwanese cuisine, plus you’re in an Irish folk fusion band and interested in expanding your knowledge of music production and getting more attention for your music. Those are pretty specific desires and you could, of course, make a page or post on Facebook or Instagram, or you-name-it… but let’s be real, your chances of getting that perfect match aren’t great.
Connecting to others on a map-based application, however, changes the math completely. Post a short video of you playing with your band, or of you cooking up some Taiwanese dish, and with a location-based connection app, you might quickly discover a person 5 miles away who’s also a Taiwanese food junkie, or someone in your own neighborhood who’s been longing to express their Irish heritage through folk music.
A new group of location-based social media video apps is designed to capture and share everyday experiences to help you quickly discover new adventures, people, and places. Your location is visible and you can be clear that you are “looking to meet new people,” or you could join a local group or “board” where you get a kind of neighborhood news feed. A ‘discover’ feature uncovers hidden gems that could be trending, but for some reason never made it onto your radar.
Tens of millions of people are downloading and using this type of firsthand community info video app that prioritizes local perspectives. And the concept makes a lot of sense. It’s all well and good to see that your friend living on the other side of the country is enjoying a meal at some chic restaurant, but it’s more useful to discover that there’s a restaurant just a short drive away that has exactly what you’ve been searching for.
It’s nice to stay in contact with friends from college and there’s no question that for professionals the huge database of a site like LinkedIn can be useful, but again, many will argue the most helpful parts of many social media platforms are the ones that are the most localized. If that’s the case, then a geography-based app with an interactive map interface is more likely to lead you to an immediate network connection in your area than any platform with hundreds of millions of users spread across the planet.
Localization is the keyword here, and as local users share local video content, you can literally see for yourself things that are sometimes almost ‘hiding in plain sight.’ And the concept works whether you are living in a rural locale or massive urban center. So many interesting people and events pass us by because we simply didn’t know they were there – this app seeks to change that.
So, if we return to our fictional Taiwanese food-loving Irish folk band-playing person in North Carolina, by joining this interactive map interface video app they’d have a much greater chance of stumbling on that one-in-a-million person who has similar interests or discovering events or locations or activities that they likely would have missed otherwise.
For someone in a major metropolis such as New York, for example, the concept is the same. Hop on the app, set up the map feature, let people know what you’re looking for and you’re almost guaranteed to find it. How many times have you discovered something and said, “I can’t believe I live just a few stops away, but I’d never heard of this!” As more people join the localization trend, these types of late-to-the-game surprises could happily become much less frequent. Tens of millions have already signed up and as the numbers grow, so will the accuracy and info. The big tech giants wanted to connect the world, and they’ve done that pretty well. A new group of tech ‘Davids’ want to micro-localize your world – and it’s about time.