The future for technology in a world of social media
New technological advancements are influencing our world in increasingly apparent ways, from how we pass the time at home, how we connect and communicate via social media and how we approach our work lives.
When we talk about the advancements of the digital world and its increasing symbiosis with our day-to-day lives, it’s consumer technology in particular which is at the forefront of this revolution. From smartphones to virtual reality, consumer technology is permeating our society at an astonishing rate, and we’re starting to see how this is set to alter the course of our lives forever.
Consumer technology has influenced many aspects of our lives in the past decade, but one of the most poignant areas is its relationship with social media. Social now boasts such an intrinsic connection to our lives; it’s undeniable that technology has had a pivotal influence on social media development.
One of the most important aspects of consumer technology which has become increasingly linked to the way social media has developed is the smartphone. According to Mobile Operators Association, there are now 83.1 million mobile handsets and data connections in the UK. This huge uptake in the use of smartphones, has seen social media apps developing into highly mobile-friendly networks.
Social messaging has become a widespread phenomenon in recent years, with many users now favouring social messaging apps to communicate instead of the more ‘traditional’ text messages. The rise of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger certainly points to the smartphone revolution and highlights how the widespread consumer adoption of smartphones has birthed these social messaging apps, which would’ve been almost unheard of at the beginning of the decade.
As more people adopt smartphones and phone providers offer more attractive deals on 4G services, apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are becoming the ‘go-to’ mediums for communication. Without the widespread proliferation of smartphones and mobile data, social messaging would not hold the influence it now does.
As more people have access to smartphones and 4G data, the rise of video has continued to gain momentum. With smartphones now having integrated cameras as standard, people are increasingly able to record video and take photographs, which has now taken over as one of the most dominant forms of media on social network feeds.
Whilst algorithms constantly change, they often favour visual content, and the widespread nature of consumer technology has most certainly contributed to the rise of networks such as Instagram and Snapchat, which are entirely focused on visuals. The combination of widely available 4G on our phones and high quality integrated cameras has clearly helped advance Snapchat’s now-enormous popularity.
Instagram has even introduced Stories (their attempt at recreating Snapchat’s ephemeral qualities), whilst Facebook Messenger has recently adapted its design to emphasise using your smartphone’s camera, reinforcing the way these apps are so closely tied to the technology which they’re used on.
The gaming industry has been successfully evolving and advancing year-on-year for the past two decades now, with exciting new advancements in technology, consoles and graphics in constant development for the future. We’re now increasingly seeing the gaming industry build closer ties to social media, with games incorporating social media prompts and rewards. As well as this, YouTube has become a huge online community for gamers, with people tuning in to watch fellow gamers stream online in huge numbers. This relatively new phenomenon has also contributed to the rise of professional gamers, who have come to redefine particular aspects of gaming into a mass spectator event and social community through the help of social video sharing networks such as YouTube and Vimeo. We can expect the relationship between social and gaming to mirror wider technology trends and become increasingly intertwined in the coming years.
As smartphones become ever more intrinsic in our lives, there’s a burgeoning trend smart home trend developing, which sees a range of home features becoming functional with our phones. Whilst smart technology is yet to be adopted on a wide scale at this time, it’s an area which will undoubtedly continue to grow in influence throughout the rest of the decade. Hoover recently introduced their Wizard Wi-Fi range, which is the UK’s first fully connected kitchen appliance range, as well as the One Touch appliances which feature near-field communication.
From windows and bins to ovens and fridges, smart home devices are becoming available and giving us a glimpse into the potential future of our homes. We’re even seeing fridge-freezers enter the market with Wi-Fi connected touchscreen displays, which further bridge the gap between the digital and appliance worlds, opening up a whole new world of social media opportunity in the kitchen. It will be incredibly interesting to see the way these smart home products begin to tie into our everyday lives in the near future.
Ultimately, consumer demands are the driving force behind new technological trends, which in turn have implications on the wider digital world and the way we interact with it. In this case, the social world is being increasingly sculpted, shaped and influenced by the world of consumer technology.