Moving from Town Square to Campfire

Moving from Town Square to Campfire Image
Since their arrival, social media platforms positioned themselves as the virtual “town square.” Anyone can join and share just about anything. Due to this open embrace, user anxiety on data privacy and content moderation has grown. These misgivings have led many brands and users to reconsider their ongoing participation.
But in a world where online connection is the norm, how do companies, communities, and individuals find each other? One answer is private social networks. These private social networks find a home on Slack workspaces, Discord, or many other platforms.
In some ways, these smaller private networks have traded the town square for the intimacy of the campfire. They cultivate this intimate community by using focused topics or shared interests. So, these private social communities foster the following benefits:
  • Quality over quantity. Your content may not get the likes and shares of a public platform, but the content is relevant. And content relevancy drives community member engagement.
  • Moderation and privacy. Private communities can set and agree on their own rules. They can determine what content to tolerate. They can decide how the platform will collect and share member data. The can also delineate when someone gets "voted off the island."
  • Curate meaningful connections. Eliminating the clutter of a public newsfeed streamlines community members connections. It also creates a space for meaningful conversations and value-driven relationships.
Private social networks also grant the host access to community-specific data. This data can highlight community trends and discover what sparks increased connectivity. Social media platforms may play a role in reaching new audiences far into the future. But community development is happening elsewhere. In 2023, Kaptivate sees huge potential for private social networks and community cultivation. It's what we're watching...and testing.