By Diana Adams
When was the first time you got breaking news on social media?
For me, it was the news that Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. I read it on Twitter before any news outlet reported it. That was when I realized the power of social media.
180,000 tweets later, I watched social media morph into a completely different entity. As a now avid Twitter user, I believe it’s like a constantly evolving organism.
If you’ve ever gotten off social media for two weeks and then gotten back on, you’ll know what I mean.
Ericsson’s Social Media Report combined with the new Mobility Report offers incredible insights into the future of social media as it relates to how it will impact networks, and how network performance will impact usage.
As a social media veteran, I’d like to offer my thoughts on some of the highlights in those reports.
I agree that social media has far from peaked. We’ve just scratched the surface. With the onset of 5G, plus the increasing number of mobile subscriptions, social media usage will continue to increase.
In contrast, like the Social Media Report points out, there’s a short life span for social brands. Old school users will remember Google Wave and others that have come and gone quickly.
The reason for this is clear. People want to go where other people are. If you’re a marketer, you want to go to the platform where your target audience is. If you’re an individual, you want to go where your friends hang out.
The Social Media Report also asks an interesting question. Is social media the new smoking? I think the answer is a resounding yes. Nobody wants to admit how much time they spend on social media. It’s embarrassing.
Business Insider published a blog post recently titled, “A new study finds that cutting your time on social media to 30 minutes a day reduces your risk of depression and loneliness.” I’m not surprised.
How are we spending all that social media time? On our smartphones!
According to the Mobility Report, “Close to 90% of total mobile data traffic is generated by smartphones today – a figure which is projected to reach 95% at the end of 2024.”
Plus, 5G is projected to cover more than 40% of the world’s population in 2024.
As you see in the chart below, watching videos is one of our favorite communication formats.
According to the Mobility Report, “Video currently stands out as the most significant traffic type consumed by smartphone users. At the end of 2024, average data consumption per smartphone is projected to be 21GB per month.”
Whoa! That’s a lot of data. Our video experience is only going to get better with 5G. Just think, no more waiting for videos to buffer on a mobile network.
My grandmother used to say, “We had to walk 3 miles in the snow.”
When I’m a grandmother, I’ll say, “We had to wait 3 minutes for our videos to buffer on our mobile network.”
The Instagram stories I watched today on 4G were unable to play smoothly. As the quality and stability of mobile video increases with evolving mobile technology, we’ll use video even more.
We live on our smartphones. It’s the first thing we reach for in the morning, and the last thing we put down at night.
As mobile technology gets better… the world gets smaller. Even now, all we need is a smartphone, a mobile network and social media to connect with anyone in the industrialized world.
And, this is only the beginning!