With the rapid change in the digital economy observed in the last century specifically in the last decade, the future only looks brighter for this area. The last decade has seen various developments in the way people keep in touch. This move has mainly brought into shape what is popularly regarded as social media.
These changes raise questions of where the social media will be in the next decade of 2020. The essay seeks to find out the changes in the social media in the last decade, and the future of this industry.
Changes in social media
The information and communication industry has changed over the last decade with advances and revolution in the way people interact. Some of the most significant achievements in the social media include Skype, email, social networks such as Facebook, and short message texting over mobile devices.
All these have the combined effect of making the world a global village in the year 2020 linking people previously separated by physical and political boundaries. The last five years alone have seen the multiplication of people engaged in social networks with new sites being developed almost annually (Donath, & Boyd, 2004, p. 72). There is a high possibility of introducing more options in 2020 for social media like Facebook and Skype.
For instance, Facebook might introduce a way of attaching documents besides the usual typing of information in the available space. People might even be able to carry out transactions through Facebook in the year 2020.
Through email messaging, businesses have recruited employees, awarded tenders, and distributed crucial information on their company. In the last decade, emailing has emerged as the most preferred method of communication over the internet with official information being accessed through it.
The speed at which information can be shared through email with great accuracy has made it an official tool of communication in many government agencies (Haythornthwaite, 2005, p.127). The method has proved relatively cheaper, faster, and more reliable for individuals and companies to communicate and transact especially in business.
With the introduction of various websites offering email services, the users are spoilt for choice. Competition has led to improvements in the quality of services offered by the various service providers besides creating an affordable means of communication (Haythornthwaite, 2005, p.127).
In 2020, a combination of the social networks and emailing services will enable personalized communication besides improving security for their users.
The production of the internet-enabled mobile phones and handheld internet devices has accelerated the development of many social sites in the last decade. Examples of these sites include Facebook, HI 5, and tweeter among others. These tools have conspicuously been used as avenues for mass mobilization, education, leisure activities, news dissemination, and more importantly for interacting (Donath, & Boyd, 2004, p. 72).
In the last three years, for example, a revolution in the Middle East and North Africa was credited to the social sites including tweeter and Facebook. Businesses have also used them as tools to promote themselves and their products (Charnigo, & Barnett, 2007, p.23).
Tweeter, which was established in the middle of 2006, is an example of these online sites that enjoy a large subscriber base, which grows by the day (Jansen et al., 2009, p.34). Each member establishes a blog where other people can follow him/her through him/her updates.
This has contributed to influencing the decisions of the mass. In the coming decade, the social media will contribute significantly in shaping the opinions of the populace especially in matters of economy. The future is also insecure with the emerging threats posed by the social networking sites. In 2020, cases of impersonification will double besides creating new types of cybercrime.
Mobile service providers have provided another avenue of communication between individuals and or groups of individuals (Donath, & Boyd, 2004, p. 72). Short message texting has created the opportunity for companies, politicians, and other interested industry players to pass information to people concerning themselves and their services.
In the past decade alone, various new companies have been formed to provide these services in each corner of the world. This has reduced the cost of international trade. It has facilitated international migration besides boosting integration efforts in all the ethnic diversities.
With the introduction of various capabilities such as file transfers, photo transfers, and other document transfers alongside the text messaging, the future of text messaging is blurred (Haythornthwaite, 2005, p.127) since the development of faster, more accurate, and advanced methods of communication will replace it by 2020.
The mobile phone operating companies are moving towards internet-based texting services such as emails, which is not a good sign for the future of text messaging especially as at 2020.
Based on the above predicted changes in the social media, the way people communicate will be revolutionized. However, a few things have remained constant throughout the changes. They are bound to stay the same, or have minimal changes. One of these is the desire to maintain anonymity and or to protect the privacy. In the advanced communication methods above, a challenge remains in the assurance of security in social media.
As the next decade and the year 2020 beacons, there is bound to be little change in this field. With the improved communication methods and advancements in the social media and networking, advanced threats have also emerged. These will continue to pose a challenge for the social media especially where privacy is broken. Despite the few areas resilient to change, there is a large room for change in the social media.
Each day provides an opportunity for industry players to come up with more advanced methods of sustaining the social media. With this kind of speed in development, social media will continue to be a key player in any industry specifically in economics. In the next decade, innovative devices, which were for a long time fictional, will come into service. These will revolutionize social media into a mass tool for use by all genders and ages.
However, with the rate of change, there is bound to be a high turnover of technologies being out phased to create a room for smart technologies. This move needs adequate planning to prevent dumping into those countries without access to the latest social media devices.
Based on the rate at which social media has changed over the last decade, the year 2020 will see the operation of sophisticated communication modalities. As indicated above, the rate at which changes have taken place in this field creates anxiety of what the future holds.
There are uncertainties as to how individuals, companies, and governments will cope with these changes, as the already existing communication methods are being out phased. The social media will continue to evolve at the same rate.
Charnigo, L., & Barnett-Ellis, P. (2007). Checking out Facebook.com: The impact of a digital trend on academic libraries. Information Technology and Libraries, 26(1), 23.
Donath, J., & Boyd, D. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Technology Journal, 22(4), 71-82.
Haythornthwaite, C. (2005). Social networks and Internet connectivity effects. Information, Communication, & Society, 8(2), 125-147.
Jansen, B., Zhang, M., Sobel, K., & Chowdury, A. (2009). Twitter power: Tweets as electronic word of mouth. Journal of the American Societyfor Information Science and Technology, 21(1), 23-56.