Social Media Grows Up

One of the most important driving factors behind the Web 2.0 movement has been social media. Platforms like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook have been linking people closer and closer together. Communication has never been easier. The entire idea of something going “viral” comes out of the connections we have made in our social networks because of social media.

As the Web 2.0 movement started to come into being, there were critics of social media. Many thought it was just a passing fad or would never stick around as a mainstream platform that anyone and everyone could and would use. It was something cute and small and wouldn’t catch on. But recent data about social media use has shown that it’s all grown up now and here to stay.

Rachel King has a great piece about the growth of social media for ZDNet. She writes that the most important aspect of a new Nielsen and NM Incite Social Media report is the fact that “American consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites.” In other words, social media is the primary purpose behind web browsing for Americans.

Ten years ago this was certainly not the case. But now that we know Americans are increasingly turning to the web for social media, this just further reinforces the fact that the predictions about Web 2.0 were true. The web truly is a collaborative, social, communal, and user-generated space. It’s still developing in that way too, and there aren’t many signs it’s going to deviate from that path in the near future.

Interestingly enough, there are an increasing number of people who access the web (and social media) from mobile devices. Over 150 million people in the US still use PCs to access Facebook for example. Over 75 million use Facebook apps from mobile devices and over 70 million use mobile browsers to visit the site. Those numbers have been increasing each year.

It will be interesting to see how the concepts behind Web 2.0 make the shift to mobile. It looks like people in the US and around the world will be accessing the web and social media more and more from mobile devices.

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