Thought-provoking post by Ian Rogers, former Beats Music CEO and Apple Music director, on Instagram, social networks, and using popular online services for what they're best at:
Of all the apps discussed here, Facebook is the only “Social Network”. Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are more valuable as Interest Feeds, LinkedIn is a network of people from your professional life, and Snapchat is a Communication Tool (aspiring to be an Interest Feed). Yet the fact that my “friends” on Pinterest will get a notification when I start a board about “Skateboarding” (even if they have no interest) is an example of how these tools were built with “social” features that actually detract from what they’re great at.
We would do ourselves a favor to stop lumping all these tools together and calling them “Social Networks” or “Social Media” and instead note what makes each service uniquely great and push these companies to improve what they’re best at. What they all are is “distribution”, ways of building direct connections between people and each other or brands. Person -> Person, Brand -> Person, Person -> Brand.