Social Networks are slowly dying

It's no secret. Social Networks as we know it are dying. Slowly but constantly. And that is not only tied to exotic things like Google+ which will be closed 31st March 2019. I wrote about it in a short notice before and my transfer to a Line Messenger Group. And here are the signs and reasons for it.

People are fed up by false friends and wrong behavior
We all came to that moment after using those big networks. People follow people for getting followed from other people. False friends that having no interest in you. I'm not saying that you can't have very good friends on those networks, but to be fair, those are rare. Most people connect to others in their surrounding, while others use social networks to reach out for the masses. For the latter ones, I'll come up to their problems now and in the future later. Those people that want to connect to their real friends begin to ask why they are using things like Facebook and Twitter for that. There is no real reason anymore to pump your private stuff on a network and wait for the next breach or mistake to leak your stuff.

The time for free speech is over on social networks
And it might not coming back easily. There are now a lot of triggers around the world. Different in each country. In the beginning it mainly was tight to the country in which the service was hosted. That time is long gone. If any country is upset or even a poor, frustrated human being are not okay with what you're saying, chances are higher and higher every day that your thought, content or sometimes even your account is gone quickly. Censorship is everywhere on those networks. It gets worse and worse everyday. And even in so-called "free countries" there are more restrictions every day. It's over.

If you are a company you need your own property
So many companies already learned that you can not rely fully on the service of those networks for different reasons. Again, you should be able to say what you want as a company on your own site. Others learned it's not a good idea to pump out more and more data to a third party. In some countries restrictions have been put in place what you are allowed to give away. Especially in Europe. You can be held reliable. So keep the data on your property. Plus for the networks are in decline, you should also focus on your target audience. The big old social sites are no longer a place to reach younger audiences. The same for higher educated people. More and more of those pull out. For a reason.
And that's why you need your own place to pump your stuff out. You can still share it via every network you like. But be aware if you go "Facebook or Twitter only", you will miss more and more people. Having to force people to go to Facebook is a no-go. A lot of people won't go there for you.

Conclusion and solution
As always the "swarm intelligence" are looking for solutions. And they found it. If you are looking to connect to your friends or a little "broader friend-sphere", there is a new star: Messengers with Groups. Like Line Messenger (big in Japan and Taiwan) or Telegram. Those can hold a decent amount of Users. Line has 500 Member per group. Make as much Groups as you like. Those are private. That means you need an invitation. Telegram has public groups, but those face the same restrictions indirectly than you would on any social networks.
The power of your private group is incredible. In most countries there are much more possible if you're non-public. In addition the problem is mostly not even materializing. I feel free to share things, that would probably be subject to a Shyster looking for the quick money. You are more secured. Of course it depends on the trust of people you invite to the group. But all in all, it is much much better for your privacy. No company like Google or Facebook have access to the group content. In case of Line groups, they are fully encrypted (letter sealing). Same for non-public Telegram groups as far as I know. Share photos, videos, make calls, go live (yes fricking live broadcast in the group) and so much more.

For someone that want to reach the public, use your website, your blog, your CMS. At least YOU decide what will be taken down or not. You know, I only respect one authority: The Law! And you should too. Not the opinion of the shareholders or moral police of a multi-million dollar company that makes money from your content.

Update 2019-01-21: Just came in from Reuters: WhatsApp is limiting sharing to 5 contacts to "fight misinformation and rumors" a.k.a. as free speech [Reuters news article].
Don't use WhatsApp, a Facebook product, but use things like Line Messenger. If you absolutely need to do so, you can circumvent the limitations by taking a screenshot or copy/paste the text to a new message, sharing with more people. Don't let companies shut you down. Rather you should shut them down.