My mom is joining Facebook. For years she’s said it was stupid. But now that she’s bought the new iPhone 4, she’s changing her mind. She says she isn’t going to post anything, but she’s tired of not getting the pictures of family events or being able to keep up with everyone. The way our family communicates has changed and she is tired of being on the outside looking in.
A friend of mine was over the other day and he was on Twitter. I didn’t know he used Twitter. I knew he was on, because I follow him, but I had NEVER seen a tweet from him. He said he uses Twitter as a his news reader. He uses his Twitter feed like one scans newspaper headlines. He said he looks at it every morning, mostly for sports, news and work.
There has been a debate brewing lately that the web is dead, and that mobile is taking over. I am not sure I buy into that statement just yet, but I do believe something unique is happening, and that is the utility demanded of the Internet, social networking and social media users is going up. Users are wanting more than just the proverbial “hang-out” place from their social networks. They want utility.
I wrote about the utility of social networks a while back. You can read it here. Since I’ve seen written it, I think the trend is gaining momentum. The fastest growing site on the internet is Groupon, more and more people are joining Facebook not to meet old friends, but to stay in touch with family. It’s a new communication medium. Who sends pictures in email or in the mail anymore.
Social networking is changing, the web is changing because like most innovation we find more convenient ways to use it. Overtime innovation gives way to utilization. We become more efficient. The use cases grow. The novelty wears off and we want greater return. I think the web and social networking are going through that transformation right now. How do I know this, because my Mom is on Facebook.