Social networks have exploded in popularity over the past five years and become one of the most used forms of communication for millions of people around the world. 800 million Facebook users and 175 Twitter users cannot be wrong. These services have grown in conjunction with the growth of mobile technology and there can be little doubt that without mobile, the numbers above would be far lower. The number of messages shared would definitely be lower.
Think about it. How often do you use Twitter or Facebook on a mobile device compared to a desktop PC or laptop. I view social networks and smartphones as one service and rarely use social networks on anything other than a mobile device.
‘Social networking’ has travelled much further on mobiles and this has been demonstrated most ably by the rise in popularity of the ‘…with Friends’ games. The games include simple messaging capabilities and this brings a whole new way to communicate which feels more natural than even dedicated social networks. It is easy to converse while playing a game and to discuss anything you like. It also makes it easier to be rude to your opponent if they are losing badly, as is evidenced in the image below. If you are struggling to win at Words With Friends, just play against Wardy from Clove and you should get an easy victory…
Mobile has given social networks the perfect platform to grow and for many people, their phones are used for social networking above any other activity. As mobile multiplayer gaming increases in popularity, we may start to see Xbox-like interaction where we can play against anyone in the world and talk to them at the same time. I watch my son play games against his friends on the Xbox and witness the fun he has as they interact on so many levels. Just maybe he will be doing exactly the same thing on a smartphone soon.