Reality Is NOW
by Bill Nolan
What does it take to become the ONE, The Everything Network? Although most social platforms share many of the same basic functions, we are way past the days of social media being just about sharing baby and friend photos, chatting with family from a far and possibly catching a glimpse newsworthy events. The social networks are becoming behemoths vying for as many functions that will make them the ONE, the one for individuals, family and business. So what’s the ONE’s key plan for world domination?
Our time is key. In order to compete social networks need to make our online experience entertaining and informative NOW. During our experience we will be judging in the blink of an eye, and it better be easy. Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, among others, definitely serve a purpose, but most of them are really still niche platforms. This is okay, but many of us are in need of that juggernaut capable of EVERYTHING. We need less jumping around with our busy schedules. We need many tools all in one and at our fingertips. This is where the strong will survive.
Virtual Reality (VR)
After years of tweaking VR isn’t a futuristic notion anymore. It’s here. The most notable social mention is Facebook’s use of it after purchasing Oculous a couple of years back. It was just a matter of time before it was into their network. Rather than just giving your followers a single point of view in a shared video, this VR technology puts you in the action. You’re not just viewing it, you feel as if you’re there living it. Yes, it may only be a virtual experience, but for many people, with lack of time and cash flow, this may be their only escape from everyday life. Remember the movie Total Recall? It’s a vacation without leaving your chair. Imagine the possibilities for business… hello travel agencies!
Live Streaming Video
Our demand for real-time action mixed with our fairly short attention span is fueling this fire. Just take a look at all of the video being distributed these days. Everyone has become a journalist. Why is this type of footage so popular? Answer… no commercials to sit through and no “experts” putting their spin on it. We watch what we want, when we want and form our own opinions. Why wait until the major news channels are reporting when you can get it NOW? Social media is rapidly becoming the go to source for news.
E-commerce is now becoming a way of life on social platforms. Gone are the days of seeing products you like, but then having to leave the platform to purchase it elsewhere. Who has time for that? Most of the major players understand this and have implemented features to connect and enable us to make purchases right from the newsfeed. This feature continues to evolve. Remember, our time is a scarce commodity and those networks and businesses foolishly wasting it will easily be left behind.
We want to interact with businesses on our time frame. Who wants to pick up a phone and call someone just to be put on hold? Our questions deserve to be answered now… gone with that nonsense. This has led to an increase in direct messaging via business social media pages. I see many new Customer Service functions in the coming future! These day you want instant satisfaction, direct contact and answers. For those businesses not getting with the program, they can expect immediate negative reviews. This is forcing businesses to use social media as a streamlined customer service option. Watch out for this ONE.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A fairly new contender, Artificial Intelligence is in its beginning stages for the social networks. AI has been embedded in algorithms deciding what’s displayed in our newsfeeds, and AI is selecting the best results in our searches. Google has been at it for awhile now, but Facebook is really taking this one to the next level. Recently Facebook has removed the ‘human’ element from selecting trending stories and promoted posts and has turned that task over to a Skynet-like intelligence. Unwanted organizations have found ways to use AI to their advantage posting racist and sexist things, but the networks are quickly on it and tweaking these out of the algorithms. AI is the future and it will surely become commonplace. It’s time for your business to imaging the possibilities too.
So where are these powerhouse networks in the grand scheme of new technologies? Is there ONE that is becoming The Everything Network? We are still in the very early stages of growth, but advancement is happening exponentially. It may be a bit early to pick a winner, however, thanks to their large user bases and their involvement in more technology than one can shake a stick at, Google and Facebook are, in my opinion, the front runners in this race. They are the ONE’s. Now, imagine if Apple got in the social game, or is this Giant already there?