Over the past handful of years, social media has rapidly become the new force on the internet. Much of what we do now online is beginning to revolve around its use. Dozens of sites have popped up offering different takes on how people interact and share information in a digital space.
Social and Search
One of the largest areas of the web to be impacted by social media is the all mighty search engine. In the early days of the web, search had little to do with social and more to do with complex algorithms that tried to guess what it was a person was looking for online. Engines became far more advanced in recent years with geo-location targeting, tracking data, and custom advertisements that catered to a user’s location and browsing habits. Now that social media is on the scene, the game is changing once again. Now results are beginning to be heavily weighted by a person’s social network. Recommendations from friends and the amount of times information is shared throughout a network are quickly becoming the new ranking currency for websites.
The explosion of social media has prompted many to rethink about how their information is secured online. At first many were thrilled that they could instantly share images and content with friends and family in faraway places. That information is stored online and those who once owned it realized they had little control over it now that it was out on the web. Securing ones identity online has become just as important as securing ones physical identity. Businesses also want a piece of the huge data pool to better market to their potential customers. A notion that not many consumers are very happy about and that some groups are trying to curtail. Some of the largest social media networks have vowed to protect consumer data however these same companies have also made advertising sales their core service component.
Social media is not going away any time soon and is more than likely here to stay. In just five years more than a billion people are using one form of social media or another. Billions of images, videos and other content are uploaded every day. People use these networks to communicate, to do business, and to live their lives. As the internet and computer hardware become more advanced, there is not telling how these platforms will develop and become further integrated into our everyday lives.