Can you imagine a world without social media? It came along just over a decade ago and has had a profound impact on the way we communicate and share information with one another. Hundreds of millions of people around the world check their social media sites multiple times a day to keep up with their friends and the latest goings-on in the world. But what’s social media going to be like in 10 years’ time? Will it be the same as it is now or can we expect it to be radically different
Number of social media users
One thing’s almost guaranteed: in 10 years’ time, there will be more people using social media. There are currently over 1.5 billion Facebook users, 900 million WhatsApp users, 400 million Instagram users and more than 320 Twitter users. In all, it’s estimated that over 2 billion people regularly go on one or more social media site. While some networks do fail or stagnate, lots of the more popular networks just seem to keep growing in popularity. Not only will the number of social media users rise thanks to the inevitable increase in world population, the percentage of the population that use social media will no doubt increase as well. Social media is omnipresent and for many it’s a necessary part of life.
There will surely be more social media networks in 10 years’ time. Social media has evolved a lot in the last decade or so and changes are constantly being rolled out to improve user experience and to offer users great new features. It took about five years for Instagram to reach 400 million users – in 10 years, there could be a whole new group of social media networks that people go on. Who knows what the next big social media network might be?
Instagram and Facebook have both said that videos will likely be more common on their respective social media networks in the future. First people shared text, then photo sharing became popular and it’s only a matter of time before videos become the next big thing. People already flock to social media to share their news and experiences whenever there’s a big newsworthy event – in 10 years’ time, more and more people will go to social media for their news, rather than traditional news outlets.
Uniting the world
Some countries have poor internet access, some of them have censorship laws and some of them have banned social media networks altogether. Facebook is trying very hard to tap into the Chinese market, working with the government to try to get censorship laws relaxed. This is part of Facebook’s efforts to give everyone in the world the chance to access social media. The social media behemoth has also started providing internet access to places with poor or non-existing internet access. One day in the future, there’s a chance everyone will be physically able to access social media and if international cooperation is successful, there may even come a day where there is no social media censorship.
Since 2006. T-Mobile has owned patents to a social phone. Instead of apps, the phone has icons of people’s faces and when click on someone, you’re able to not only call or text that person, but also email them or tweet them, send them a message over WhatsApp or Facebook. Something like this would place the emphasis on the people and communicating with them, not on the individual social media networks. There’s a chance a social phone could come out within the next 10 years – there would certainly be enough demand for one.