I'll start the thread with this... The basic social sharing - on Instagram, Snapchat, Musical.ly/TikTok - has not changed for a while. What would break the mold?
Social DOING. Social GIVING. Valuing how we interact based on what we give instead of receive, working on the tenets of valuing time vs wasting it, trading skills for skills, or teaching/sharing passions in a way that's impactful instead of to seek validation. In these ways we can reshape what it means to share intent and info socially and break the mold of what exists today.
Commenting on a few other suggestions (I've spent a lot of the last 5 years, especially the last 2, obsessing over messaging and social apps). I'm not trying to dump all over people but you can't improve things without studying how others in a space failed.
Complete anonymity has been tried at least three times - Whisper, Secret and YikYak with investments of hundreds of $millions and all failing due to the bullying problems. You think Twitter's toxic? Try a totally anonymous version (which also makes blocking people impossible).
ratings and score for their activities and users crave to keep their score up
pretty sure that was Klout's core value proposition.
I'm all for talk about breaking the mold, and I get starry eyed when talking about things like decentralized networks, and new, more dynamic formats. Before any brainstorming, though, I would offer that among those apps you mentioned, TikTok is a bit of a different beast, and it demands an updated understanding. TikTok platform rewards shamelessness in a way no other app does. Its super power, algorithmic strategy aside, lies in the the way it achieves a community (or at least the sensation of one) around being oneself in an unadulterated way. I highly recommend Nicholas Carr's article on this, for both his characterization of the platform, and because being more clear about the current state of social media can lend itself to thinking about where to go next, or more to the point, what might work next.
Onto your question/the topic - I can't say I've thought enough about where social media could go, but I can say that in thinking about it, it makes sense to break it down further....
The name of the game with social media à la FB/Insta/Snap/TikTok/etc. is keeping people hooked. Profits are made from data, and from advertising. Users are effectively the product (to put it extremely simply). If the goal is to continue in this tradition, then you want as close to infinite engagement as you can get. There are only so many forms of content to share and consume (words, audio, video), and so many forms of interaction (chatting/messaging, likes, comments, follows, remixes). There are also accessory functions to consider, like marketplace features (FB/Insta), and other tokens of attention between users, like donations (Twitch), etc. So, again - if the goal is an app which follows in the general tradition of those you mentioned, the question becomes one of whether create or capture a culture which, when harnessed or fueled, reaches network effects, and - basically - patterns of addiction.
Once we introduce some of the ideas I see in other comments here - like networks that focus on social good, or community building, we're (probably) talking about a different business model. Or, at least, we're talking about more work needing to be done on creating a culture as opposed to harnessing it. That's not to say we don't all harbor some great desire to help each other, but it's difficult to think this could be captured at the same scale, or in the same way as the incumbent platforms capture our desire to say, be distracted, or argue, or escape into funny videos, or ogle pictures of butts.
From here, though, we can launch into some interesting lines of thought. We can consider social networks with a more altruistic stripe, sure, but also other categories of products. We might consider a micro-finance business that makes it easy for the masses to get involved, or some new crowdfunding platform. We might consider building fintech products that serve as protocols, that can interface with pre-existing apps to offer transfers of payment. We might consider a platform to facilitate easy partnerships between brands and creators, to reduce friction between the creators who have all the attention, and the businesses who so desperately want to share/pay for a piece of it. In other words, we might think of social media as a feature, or something to build on top of, more than the foundation to shake.
But, to each their own of course. In the face of the behemoth that is social media, if the goal is to create a product, we have to ask, "Do I want to capture something new? Do I want to terraform and push a new culture? Would it be better to capitalize on some aspect of preexisting patterns?"
I know that what you're really getting at here is the great, fun thought experiment that is really trying to envision, with specificity, what the next thing will look like, or could be. But just as this is a big, broad topic, I think the possibilities are accordingly broad. That is, the next thing is never going to be only one thing. Moreover, the why and how of the next big thing actually becoming so big is going to be varied, too. What we can be sure of is that there is going to be more chatting, more sharing, more acts of expression, more "shamelessness," more desire, more consumption. There's going to be connection in real time, there's going to be AR, and VR, there's going to be one or five or twenty products that suck us in with some cocktail of these things. And this cocktail is going to satiate some need, whether we want to express ourselves, or are lonely, or are horny, or need distraction, or just truly, genuinely enjoy what we're doing (like playing a video game). But there's also going to be timing - whether that's because the technology/infrastructure can be deployed effectively, and/or because we're fatigued, and looking for the next thing.
I think that whether we're trying to guess at what will come next, or build it ourselves, one thing is bound to happen: the next big thing(s) will be at once new, but also have aspects of the familiar. Only so many things we as humans can do within the dimensions we exist in. Just gotta find a way to enable people to do those things in a way that hooks into what they crave.
People generate a lot of content on these Social Media sites..... however, there`s no direct incentive for them to keep generating content.
So they lose interest and stop using them.
So, one of my ideas is to build a platform for ordinary people to publish their content (stories, articles, poems, videos, pictures, analysis, thoughts, etc) and monetize it.
Change the type of media or content (what is being shared) or change the way people are connected or suggested (who are you sharing with)?
Attributing motivation/source somehow gets into a why something is being shared, which is the biggest issue in manipulation but I have no idea how to prevent. The Why is normally implicit in sender or context (eg: group) but that is often only a smokescreen for manipulators (eg: fake groups to encourage hatred, discourage voting, get people to buy).
Are there any other dimensions.
I echo Lyn Muldrow's comment above. We've reached to a point that internet is readily accessible; I long for the day it will be leveraged for social/community service. My personal suggestion is to take on sports and athleticism for the common people which should give opportunity too for the youth and local governments. Hit me up if interested.
The biggest problem with current "social" apps is how they trap users in rigidly controlled "walled gardens" so they can sell eyeballs to advertisers, and thus, provide a revenue stream to support them.
The solution would be to build a distributed discovery service where anyone can go to find friends or contacts no matter where they host their profile.
I'll leave the dual problems of bootstrapping and funding for you to solve. ;)
I would love to break the mold. Quite risky but this what startup is all about.