Fact #1: Facebook recently passed the 500 million-user mark (no I didn’t accidentally add a zero). There are only ~900 million computer users in the world.
Fact #2: The average amount of time the typical person spent on Facebook (7 hours, 1 minute per month) is more than Google (1:23), Yahoo (2:09), YouTube (1:02), Microsoft/Bing (1:35), Wikipedia (0:15), and Amazon (0:22) combined!
When I worked for Procter & Gamble back in 1995, they were just starting to require that everyone use email. I remember there were a few managers that refused. One person that sticks out in my memory was a woman who told everyone that instead of email, you should call or write a hand-written note and put it on her desk. She was proud of her refusal to adapt to the times.
Email has transformed how people communicate at work, and I think we will see a similar transformation in the next decade. This time, Social Media will be the catalyst. It’s already transformed how people interact with their friends. I used to shoot off email to communicate with my friends, update my photos on Flickr, and chat using Yahoo Messenger. Now, all of that activity is centered in one place – Facebook. It’s more efficient and more engaging.
To get a peek into the future and how we’ll be communicating (and working), just look at how younger people are using technology today.
- They don’t like using email and prefer to text.
- They use their smart phones more than their computers.
- They aren’t as worried about privacy and much more willing to make their news public.
- They love Social Networking sites.
How do you think that these trends might affect the work that you do? It may not right now, but when the next generation hits the work force, you better be ready to communicate using Social Media.