Inventory Check: Social Media Software Industry

Checking the Pulse
As someone who deals with corporations deploying social media to connect with customers, I’ve been watching and taking note of all the inventory out there, as sometimes I’m asked to suggest some software to clients. There’s a tremendous amount of options available to any company that wants to expand their web strategy to create collaborative and two-way websites. There’s some VCs out there that think there’s too many players and not enough innovation.

Web Software Taxonomy

I’ve taken tally of one niche of Web Software (Order) Social Software (Family), they are broken into groups (Genus), if you click on any of those links, you’ll see the specific company (Species).

Inventory of Social Media Software Industry:

Wikis
Over 60 different types of wiki software available, you can even compare features.

White Label (you can rebrand) Social Networking Software

I have a list of over 40 companies, it started with 8, and it continues to grow.

Blogging Software

29 flavors of software available.

Video Platforms

There are over 20 Online Video platforms. See my rant yesterday.

Podcast Directories

Over 140 directories listed.

Internet Forum Software packages

Over 50 software packages are available.

Instant Messaging
Nearly 20 different clients (many don’t work together) available.

Social Bookmarking
Over 25 services listed.

Online Data Storage

I’ve started a list of enterprise vendors, there’s also hundreds of startups that offer online data storage as a primary or secondary feature.

Online Office

There’s half a dozen or more online office suites, 9 online spreadsheet companies, 9 Online Word processors, and at least 8 Online Presentation tools.

Online Photo Sharing
Over 100 services available (use the engine, and select show me all).

I remember the first internet boom
I was part of the first internet boom. I was at Exodus Communications (I still remember, and document it) which hosted many web startups in our data centers. Some of our clients were pets.com, and some other startups with ridiculous names (at the time) like “Google” and “Yahoo”. I remember an excess of startups entering the market, and then the shakeout occurred in 2000-2003, only the strong and unique survived. I suspect we’re getting close to that point where the shakeout will start to occur, hopefully, it won’t be another catastrophic event like Sept 2001.

Analysis:
Based upon this inventory, and my experience in the first boom, there are two stances I could logically take:

1) Software is differentiating and developing niche features for different groups and needs

or

2) There a excess of social software available.

I’m leaning towards the latter, how about you?