Mapping social media’s ‘conversational networks’, the Conversation Prism gets an update

Conversation Prism social media map Brian Solis JESS3

The central role of social media in the consumption and spread of news – not to mention shaping the news agenda itself – is well established.

According to a recent Reuters report more than half (54%) of internet users said they use social media as a news source every week.

Moreover, for 14% of respondents from the 36 countries surveyed social media was their main source of news.

But social media has never just been about the news, as the latest iteration of the Conversation Prism shows.

The visual map of social media’s ‘conversational networks’ was first released nine years ago and has just received its first update since 2013. (For compare and contrast purposes you can view 2010’s Conversation Prism 3.0 and 2013’s 4.0 version.)

This time around the major developments concern the rise of messaging. The frontrunners here are obviously Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Instagram, but as the Prism shows, that’s only part of the picture for this segment of social media.

Social Marketplace becomes Crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, etc) and Live Casting has been updated Social Streaming (Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscipe). As sectors of the social landscape both are now firmly in the mainstream.

You can still take issue with with the new version of the Conversation Prism. This time around Twitter is a Blog/Microblog, last time it was a Social Stream. Neither feels entirely right.

Added to that, the inclusion of copyright-lax music streaming service Grooveshark two years after its demise is… curious.

Nevertheless, for ideas about the full range of social possibilities the Conversation Prism remains a one of the best, and most colourful, tools around.

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