Author Ravish Patwardhan on Aspects of Social Media
Ravish Patwardhan considers attributes of various applications of social media – from the sites in existence today, what qualities may make one more popular than another amongst users, what type of niche is fulfilled by a given site. The actual definition of “social media,” the types of users who enter information vs. receive information (e.g. followers), use of social media for business purposes (e.g. selling cars), making friends, meeting strangers, or other uses are explored.
Risks are also attendant in the social media world, as Patwardhan notes. Identity theft, hacking, and significant attempts at utilizing information that may otherwise have been intended as more confidentially shared, could be exploited. By recording items which may be appropriate for one audience but not another (e.g. workplace), users risk significant problems which may have at once seemed unforeseeable. Legitimate means of counteracting these has led to an entire industry being born, related to social media effects and control.
Patwardhan considers some of the major sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), similarly mature, perhaps lesser-used sites (e.g. Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc.), and newer up-and-coming sites. Patwardhan considers these by a historical approach, determining their present-day role in today’s world in relation to the service they provide, and potential areas for growth in the future. In addition, he considers the significant mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in this social media space, with notably Facebook acquiring Instagram.
However, as Patwardhan notes, not all M&A activity is horizontal – vertical mergers and even what appear to be remotely related acquisitions (such as Facebook’s interest and subsequent acquisition of a video-gaming company), add a dimension of potential growth for the future.
The not-always-obvious implications are also considered, such as data analytics (though Patwardhan discusses that topic in a separate section).
In short, as Ravish Patwardhan notes, the rapidly expanding world of social media continues to make history, almost as the same pace as it is collecting our collective histories (!)