What's next for social media? -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

What’s next for social media?

Pakistan Press Foundation

What merely started as a platform to connect with friends online — social media — has now expanded into a much larger medium, which is set on the course of becoming a major component of mass communication. Even though it still has a non-serious connotation attached to it in the wider sense, all sectors of society have gradually begun to understand that much like other mediums of communication, social media also provides them with a target audience that they can reach for their respective purposes — that, too, without spending a huge amount of money or hiring a big team.

The roles social media can play in work sectors are limitless, with the advertisement sector, in particular, being the biggest beneficiary. While users have tried to find easy workarounds to avoid seeing paid advertisements on their social media accounts, the advertisements still reach them in one way or the other, most of the times subliminally. And this is where the corporate world jumps in to do what it does best.

It is not just the corporate world benefiting immensely from social media but even educationists, activists, artists and politicians, who have all established an identity on various online platforms, gathering fans from the world over and forming communities. Even the media houses, that generally have a more serious outlook, have taken to social media to find more prospective consumers.

Apart from being an excellent medium of marketing and advertising, social media has another huge advantage: an endless source of information. Newsrooms have begun to rely more on Twitter now to get timely updates from people across the world and also from competitors.

Understanding what game changers they have become, these websites have also begun to charge organisations for promotion — a charge which companies view as a good investment. Other social media analytical websites, such as Wildfire and Socialbakers, have also popped up to help companies get a detailed analysis of how well they are doing in comparison to their competitors.

It is too early to predict whether social media will expand to the point where it is considered a proper subject and is given due importance in classrooms and workplaces, but we never know! All of us just might be in for a surprise.

Express Tribune