The emergence of Pinterest, the umpteenth social network pointed out as "the next big thing" by experts, led the vast majority of heavy users of social activity to make yet another registration, username and password to note in their records. With the hype around the new sensation (which had the main influencers of the web like Mashable working in its favor), Pinterest became an obligation for those who want to stay relevant in the social scene. Discussion about the relevance or interest of Pinterest aside (it has the great advantage of being visual and universal in cognition, but it is undoubtedly even more futile than other forms of social interaction), this umpteenth registration only increased the notion that social networks need more from habitual users than they from them. They are the ones who will determine who survives or not.

All studies show that the production of social environments comes from a tiny minority of users. About 7% of the participants in the universe are the ones who make most of the online content. In a measurement among Dutch users, less than 1/3 had sent a tweet or more in a 90-day period. Half of the items consumed on Twitter came from 0.05% of users. It is an online elite that spends about 30% of their online time interacting. But it is finite and more than that, very small in relation to the universe.

This is precisely why the creation of next big things puts increasing pressure on the functioning of the universe. There is a fixed number of users willing to donate (or invest) their time to pad the social environment and with more networks, they start to dilute and this dissolution becomes a threat to the very existence of these networks - including those "fantastic" ones that "couldn't go wrong". There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

This is a strong indication why niche networks apparently have better competitive survival advantages than candidates for major networks like Pinterest. Don't get me wrong: I don't think Pinterest is necessarily doomed to failure (although, yes, I think it has the same depth as a behavior magazine with the latest makeup trends or the most powerful cars). The point is that, while “niched” networks appeal to a genuine interest of each user, the majors have an appeal for the trend that is booming at that moment. These latter ones dispute the universe of heavy users and desperately need them to consolidate and depend on continuing to be trendy to keep these users; the former explore a space that resembles that of the long tail, with fewer potential consumers, but with fewer needs to survive.

The user (in this case, the heavy user) who, up to this point was a customer of the social network, under this prism, begins to gain a partner space and in some cases even a supplier of a rare commodity - content. If the market continues to launch social networks at a high pace, competition between networks increases and pressure too. This scenario will then become increasingly favorable for the appreciation of this heavy user, especially those with great influence (not to be confused with Klout, which is an arbitrary measurement and that often confuses influence with social hyperactivity). You, heavy user, will start to be fiercely disputed as the market saturates.