Facebook is new place to discuss and online internet forum websites are dying
Facebook is the new discussion platform and internet forum websites are losing relevance. Facebook is continuing to outperform the traditional forum websites.
The number and frequency of discussions at established forums is also decreasing, newly launched forums are finding it difficult to attract users and traffic.
Online forums are active from a long period and were a true social networks before facebook came. But due to decrease in user base many forums are being closed and number of new forums is decreasing.
What could be the reason for such a decrease in reputation of online forums and what should be done to get back the glorious days?
Your observation are accurate to certain points, however I would like to differ with you one some points. Though joining a forum and engaging in discussions has reduced over the years and golden days are over for online discussion forums, but completely sidelining online discussion forums is unwarranted.
First, Forums have not lost their reputation. Forums with great information are still a hit and people follow them.
However Forums are not a prefered platform nowdays due to various reasons. Few of the reasons are:
- Unattractive design: the UI and overall design of online forums has not changed much over the years. Design followed by almost all forums needs to be updated. Tikshare has a clean design and this is the reason being a very late entry in forums niche, Tikshare is doing great.
- Login and seperate Id system: If you observed, forums with social logins are doing good. We have lot of sites to visit and do not like to create a seperate login Id for each and every website. With a single ID on facebook, you can subscribe to different pages and groups. Forums have to update their login system.
- Indexing and Search: Forums have to improve on indexing and search functionalities. Even facebook is not great at search and index.
Apart from above changes, forums have to innovate and match with the changes that WEB2.0 have brought. Facebook has lot of users, and groups are a perfect place to discuss your views.
But yes after a certain time even group loses its relevance and a new group is looked upon. Old and established online forum websites have the capabilities to compete with facebook. Old forums have lot of useful discussions which facebook groups do not have.
Forum webmasters need to join the groups on FB and link the useful discussion in comments. Still Google is best source to get traffic and this shows that people are searching, even those who are in groups use google instead of posting it in groups.
Again, it will be wrong to say that Forums are not changing!!! Forums are taking a different route, instead of being jsut a Discussion platform, forums are now changing to Question and Answer websites.
Quora and Yahoo Answers gets lot of visitors and user activity in terms of words generated is similar to facebook.
In the long run, people will use facebook more if facebook completely redesign the groups and each group is designed with a better indexing and search functionality.