“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

Some bloke called Leonardo da Vinci said that, and I couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to social networks. I’ve been getting a lot of joy out of Instagram recently and a lot of that joy is down to the simplistic nature of the platform. I open the app and immediately I’m faced with a flow of images from those I choose to follow. If one of the images tickles my fancy, I can click the little Like/heart button and show my appreciation for it, or if I see fit, I can comment on said image. Simple. That’s why Instagram is on fire and will continue to burn for a long time. The filters are nice, but to me, that isn’t the main reason for its success, it owes its popularity to the fact that is highly social and those interactions are aided by simplicity. The fact that until recently, it was only present on mobiles, tells me that simplicity is at the heart of their ethos. I just hope Facebook doesn’t screw it up.

I love Twitter and it’s simple too

Twitter, by its very nature, is simple. The 140 character limit means that we all have to keep our messages short and to the point. It’s easy to digest the information that is important to you on Twitter. The interaction is simple and fuss-free. Sure there are images and video on there, however they rarely get in the way of the key functions. As a raw communications tool, Twitter is hard to beat. Just look at how quickly a cause or a major piece of news can spread on the platform. This wouldn’t be possible without the simplistic approach that is at the very heart of it (New York, New York).

Instagram shot courtesy of me.

Pin the tail on the donkey

Pinterest is like image based crack cocaine for the web. What does it do? Allows people to gather images they like and arrange them in boards for them and their fellow platform users amusement. See an image you like, ‘pin’ it and off you go on your merry way. Simple. That simplicity is without doubt a key reason for its massive growth.

Facebook is becoming the quantum physics of social networks

When you first started using Facebook, what was the thing that really grabbed your attention? I bet it was the ability to easily keep in touch with friends and family from across the world. For some of you it was probably the ability to snoop on people’s photos, but we’ll leave that one for now. If you look at Facebook now, it is a mess. It is harder to see updates from your friends due to brand messages, apps and ads and the fact they are continually changing they way the platform works. I just had a look at the Facebook app on my iPhone – 5 out of the 10 items of my newsfeed were paid for ‘sponsored posts’ etc. It is now not simple to use Facebook for what it was intended for. Simplicity has gone. Sad really. They are hurting after a shocking IPO and I can’t help but think the company is losing sight of its initial purpose.

Take the simplistic approach to your digital marketing

Simple works. It really does. People get joy from things that get their emotions and senses firing and are delivered in a way that doesn’t boggle the mind. ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’ never had more relevancy in a world where our lives are increasingly busy and full of noise. Take the simplistic approach to your messaging and you are far more likely to achieve your aims. Simple, right?

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Mike McGrail

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