There are many reasons why social networking is becoming increasingly popular, partly because of the increased possibilities implied by advances in telecommunication technology and diversity in communication equipment.
Diversity in Communication Equipment
In 2013, it was reported that tablet sales around the globe were likely to surpass PC sales. In the later quarters of the same year this telling statement became a reality as the sale of these hand held devices was significantly in excess of PC sales as reported in sales data that year. These reports that were widespread in early 2013 were based on the steadily increasing shipments of tablets around the world and gradual decline of both PC and laptop sales the same year.
It was during the same year that IBM sold out its PC sales and manufacturing operations to Lenovo and started investing heavily in the Windows 8 operating system specifically designed for touch screen devices. The primary reason for the dip in sales however was due to the increased processing power and capability of these handheld devices and the cost reductions they brought to doing work. The introduction of these devices almost in single sweep eliminated the need to invest in a laptop to send an email or images from sites away from the office. A the same time these devices brought significant numbers and capability into the social media arena with so much more in terms of ability to post content from remote locations.
While the above trend in relation to tablets clearly played a role in the increased popularity of social media, the same was reported in relation mobile phone technology in 2013. In the same year, the number of active mobile phones across the globe surpassed the number of people. In 2013, it was reported that just over 90% of all the people on earth had a mobile phone and of this huge number 56% owned a smart phone. In addition to that 50% of mobile phone users used their devices as their primary mode to connect to the internet. Other statistics on mobile phones indicate that 50% of the smart phone users primarily used these devices to make use of various apps. Today there are more smart phones than regular mobile phones and the majority of these serve to connect the users via apps including social media apps.
All the above made possible by innovation and improvements in telecommunication devices and capability. Distributed antenna system companies – advanced telecom systems help to boost cellular coverage over large areas. Lest we forget it is around this period that various mobile carriers improved their mobile networks to support 2G, 3G and 4G technology. All these improvements came with huge increments in bandwidth and what could be performed on an existing network. To illustrate the potential of these networks, consider that 2G networks that now exist almost everywhere support download speeds of up to 256Kbps. In practice this means a 20Mb video would take about 10minutes to download. This could be a 10-minute video summary of the day’s activity at a construction site halfway around the world.