The Evolution of Social Media

Social media has been a part of our lives since late 20th century. It is probably the most innovative platform that has originated from the existence of the internet. Social life, business, marketing, entertainment, news and pop culture have never been better expounded and shared as they are now, all thanks to social media! But from it's inception, social media has witnessed so many changes and development. The world has literally moved for the age of the 'analogue’ to the ‘digital’ age.

However, in understanding social media, one must know how it is defined, described and viewed. The perception of anything certainly determines its use….

Gini Dietrich describes social media as a shift in how we get our information; she says, “It used to be that we would wait for the paper boy to throw our news on the doorstep (or into the flowers) and we’d read the paper, front to back, with our morning coffee before going to work. Now we get information, 24/7 and on the fly, from anywhere...... Social media allows us to network, to find people with like interests, and to meet people who can become friends or customers. It flattens out the world and gives us access to people we never would have been able to meet otherwise”. This statement is true for we have never seen better days in networking, advertisement, marketing and business as we do now.

The creation of social media was an answer to a clarion call for solving the major problem of interacting with family and friends across long distance and borders in an easy and enjoyable manner. But now extends beyond that and is now a major tool for marketing and business.

The chart below shows the evolution of social media in the 21st century (2004-2014);

 Source: www.adweek.com

Source: www.adweek.com

The chart is a partial illustration of the rapid development of some of the major social media applications. The existence of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snap Chat, We Chat, Google Plus and several more, have fashioned the evolution of social media and now have major impact on how we communicate and share.  The creation of the hashtags (#youngminds #social #tweet #innovation #winks), emojis, social media acronyms (LOL, BRB, BTW, LMK, ICYMI, OMG, TMI, FYI, etc.), and many other features have kept its populace intrigued and ever expanding.

Social media is presently a daily breed of ideas, grooming into consistent app and web innovations, especially on the different networking sites of social media (which will be discussed in this series). It is a world that is daily improved on and keeps everyone on their toes, looking out in excitement for the next new innovation and development. 

Unarguably, as Gary Vaynerchuk had said, social media has brought about the ‘youtification’ of our society. It is dominated by young people. Social Media unites and will continue to unite men and women of the older, present and future generations.

The future of social media is extremely bright. It has become the core arena for strategic networking and business growth. E-commerce is at large, virtual marketing and online advertisements have gained solid grounds in this age. Therefore, the world of social media deserves to be learnt, mastered and effectively used, especially by the young minds of this generation, as they hold the future of every nation in their hands.

Arguably social media is in its golden era although it is likely that the future will bring further exciting innovations and developments. However, we should not lose sight of the negative aspects of social media. Issues like the credibility of the content and information being shared, the problem of fake news, will continue to be a major problem. 

Within these series, we hope to inform readers about the intricacies, features, benefits, pitfalls and uses of social media. We hope to work with our readers as we go through techniques of deciphering quality information. We hope to work with you, as you incease your mastery of the various social media platforms and use them to enrich your quality of life and improve your business and your education. These series are crucial to the way we see life and the way we do business at C4C. Happy reading and do engage with your comments and contributions