How Dark Social Media is shaping a new era in Social Media Monitoring

The tumultuous rise of the adoption of messaging system is proving to affect the social media-monitoring model as we know it.

While the monitoring platforms are still focused on individuals’ profiles on social media channels, more and more meaningful conversations are taking places outside the radars of the spiders.


This is mostly true for the teen-agers conversations, massively present on WhatsApp and others like channels.

They go for dark social activity.

So where these conversations can be tracked again? How to understand what’s said online and which is the perception about brands and topics?Through a process of reverse engineering of data collection, instead of looking at people’s profile it’s brands’ and influencers’ channels the place to scan for.

This trend is going to consolidate in the very next future and transform the nature of the social media industry shifting from monitoring to digital intelligence.

Some data

In the last years the adoption of messaging system rose dramatically and surpassed the Big 4 Sn Apps since 4Q14.


Source: Business Intelligence

The trend is unstoppable and it’s pushing lot of companies to shift towards messaging apps the CRM business from Social Channels. Handling conversations one to one with customers is definitely safer than perform the same task in an open environment such as a brand page. Let’s imagine to manage a complain or harsh comments from angry customers under the scrutiny of thousands of followers. Even the smaller mistake could cause a shit storm and a crisis. While in a one to one private situation there’s less pressure on the brand and as well on the customer to show muscles in front of a large audience. Further the Messaging apps can be managed through BOT to make things far more easy. This is the scenario of the close future as the demographics highlight that Messaging is the playground of teen-agers and young adults.


Source: GlobalWebIndex

The index speaks loud and clear about the dominance of Messaging system versus other online activities in the two younger age slots. Stronger in the 16/24, rather strong in the 25/34, then weaker in the other slots. A trend that can be seen confirmed globally mostly in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America, area where the most relevant chatting platforms are born (WeChat, Line), mobile penetration is higher, population is younger.


Source: GlobalWebIndex

Wrap up

  • Following conversations as done today is a practice going inevitably out of focus in a close future.
  • Meaningful conversation will be easily detected following the brands channels and the proprietary channels of broadcasters and influencers.
  • These are the places where to catch activities and comments from the younger part of the population online.
  • This is where we already headed with The Signal, our proprietary digital intelligence platform and where we focus our attention.