Examining Social Media and its Future

Rosanna_D    November 17, 2014


Industry: Social Media

Web references: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102029041#

When I was doing research on this week’s blog post someone in particular came to mind. As a Communications major, I was introduced to Marshal McLuhan and his work on media theory. His famously coined expression – ‘The Medium is the Message’ got me thinking about social media and its future.

Perhaps we need to start looking at social media more as a medium rather than a message.  The medium is the technology, the app or the platform be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube.  These mediums are causing shifts within society.  Social media has changed the way we communicate with one another; the way we gather, store and share information; and, it impacts our decision making.

Simply put, social media is extension of ourselves and our senses. It enables us to do more than our physical bodies can do.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t physically see all my 100+ friends on Facebook. It would take me months to do so. However,  I can definitely keep in touch and interact with them using my Smartphone or from the comfort of my home.

Here are some recent statistics about social media today:

  • 72% of internet users are active on social media
  • More than 1.15 billion people around the world are on Facebook
  • The average Facebook user has approximately 190 friends
  • Twitter has more than 550 million registered users
  • YouTube has more than one billion monthly active users
  • Pinterest has more than 20 million active users
  • Instagram has more than 150 million active users

If this is the case with social media today, what does the future look like? I asked my social media manager at work this very question, and this is what she had to say,

“Personally, I think were are going to see a big change in the way companies spend money on social media. We are seeing a glimpse of it today as more and more companies are hiring social media experts to manage their social platforms. For the regular non-corporate user, I think they are going to see more options and networks  with the capability to filter out ads or subscription services.”

Here are some other predictions about the future of social media:

  1. Wearable Technology – Look at Google Glass. People either love them or hate them, but the technology is limitless. People are physically wearing technology and no longer need their smartphones, computer, tablet or laptop to search, store and share information.  Using voice activation, people are connected all the time.

Here is a radio interview with a plastic surgeon that uses Google Glass during his surgeries and raves about the technology.



  1. No Such thing as Breaking News – News and events around the world will be covered by a multitude of eyewitnesses streaming live videos. People will be able to witness live events and share news and updates in real-time as they are happening.
  1. Holographic Imagery will become more Mainstream – Instead of travelling far distances, people will be able holograph themselves for business meetings and presentations or to send messages to loved ones abroad.
  1. Websites and Apps will become Obsolete – The internet will surround us to the point that it becomes automatic and ingrained in our infrastructure.  It will be like electricity – it will be all around us, giving people the ability to communicate with one another and download information anywhere all the time.
  1. Data Overload: There will be so much data about everything and anything that people will be able to download information quickly.  In the near future,  people will flip through a menu at a restaurant and they will be able to find out the ingredients in their meal, where it came from, how it was cooked – right down to the recipe, along with recent reviews about the meal. Talk about quick decision making!!

Here is a YouTube video that discusses technological trends in social media.


As different as they may seem, these predictions all share one common theme – they describe social media as an extension of ourselves.  And no matter where we are in the world, we will always be connected through social media.


Lessons for others:

We need to examine social media as a medium to better understand the changes it creates within society. Whether people like it or not, social media is not going away. In fact, it’s the way to communicate, gather and share information.  We see this firsthand in the way employees use social media to interact with fellow employees; in the way companies interact with their employees and customers; in the way companies market their brand or service; and, in the way companies manage their supply chain.

If I have learned anything, it’s that no matter where social media takes us in the future we will always be connected and we have to embrace it. It’s our reality and it will keep getting bigger faster. There is no point fighting it, because if you do, you will be too far behind to catch up. Instead, people and companies need to think about social media as an asset. Social media truly is an extension of ourselves and our senses – and its possibilities are endless.

Other Resources:

Social Media Today

The Medium is the Message


Submitted By: Rosanna D’Alessandro

To contact the author of this entry please email at: rosanna.dalessandro@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.