Social media involves a compilation of online platforms that creates an opportunity to the public to communicate through various forms of online features; they include Google, twitter, facebook, Instagram, telegram, skype, IMO and WhatsApp. Some of the connective features can be sharing ideas and knowledge, online discussion, networking and even other content which are essential for communication. Historically, it used to be enough having an online presence on the internet for one-way dissemination and broadcasting of information. However, social networking sites have enabled users to post comments and updates, to swap ideas, participate in events and various activities while having to share their broader interest. The surprise is that the social media growth has greatly influenced the traditional mainstream media to create their online platform in interacting with their customers, thats from propagating the breaking news, coordinating the disaster response, to scheduling a date for election results. Social media is becoming part of everyones life, and the platform experiences its growth it offers to individuals in keeping up with friends, following of breaking news, learning from others and the significant contribution it has on online debates.
According to Fuchs (2017), a global estimate of social media users by the end of 2009, mounted to eight hundred and thirty million with a total of 1.7 billion internet users. It means that by 2000, around half of the individuals who are using the internet could be currently making use of social media applications. It is also important to note that most of the social network users are getting access to these services over their mobile phones showing the fact that social media is easily accessible and thats the primary reason why it experienced a severe growth.
Due to the accessibility of social media, it has enabled members to post and send short messages and even share their daily experience with no hindrance. With about half a billion individuals around the world having a facebook account with nearly two hundred million having a twitter account, social media is becoming one of the fastest growing websites as expressed by the increasing number of their reach and audience. The half a billion individuals who are using social needs to ensure sufficient that there is adequate communication between their member, this, in the long run, is making them depend on n social media for interaction and communication purpose. Social media is rising since most individuals want to update their social life once in a while either through a text message or a picture, through social media, the platform is created since users are capable of broadcasting what they are thinking or doing to the world.
Additionally, with the increasing number of smartphones and the accessibility of smartphone in general, the rise of social media is inevitable. Currently, with the convenience and availability of smartphones, it has overtaken TVs, radio and even mainstream forms of communication since through smartphone one can get access to breaking news, understand what is trending and also interact with friends. Increased use smartphone use has in the long run led to the development of mobile-based social networks with some aiming at connecting individuals based on their location, while others are assisting users in helping find a new partner and sharing of their photos although this never happened before (Hoffman, Novak & Kang,2017). Being that the world is also in the middle of the Smartphone boom, Google, Samsung and other mobile operating system vendors have offered the foundation to ensure developers are coming up with innovative services that are adding extra functionality to their mobile phones. Predictable, with the increasing evolution, use of social media will still increase. This will take place since smartphones features also seem to evolve with the services offered by the existing and the new social networking companies hence making the mobile-specific social networks to even thrive.
On the other hand, the daily improvement of social media is identified to be one of the causes of why social media is speedily raising. This is evident by the radio station and Tv channels that are making use of social media, newsrooms are now disrupted entirely by social media, and now social media is no longer viewed as niche rather its now affecting how tv station and how traditional mainstream are being run(Tremayne,2017). Additionally, an improvement on social media is now creating an opportunity for digital marketing and journalism at the same time. From healthcare and even financial management, financial technology companies are making use of social media to assist individuals to open up bank accounts.
With the rapid technological development, there has been increased smartphone use that has led to entire growth of social media and introduction of various mobile-based social networks just to ensure effective communication
Fuchs, C. (2017). Social media: A critical introduction. Sage.
Hoffman, D. L., Novak, T. P., & Kang, H. (2017). Lets Get Closer: Feelings of Connectedness
from Using Social Media, with Implications for Brand Outcomes. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2(2), 216-228.
Tremayne, M. (2017).The Facebook Agenda: Global Social Media News
Characteristics. American Communication Journal, 19(1).
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