What’s Driving the Ever-Evolving Social Web?

Social networking has changed many of my routines: how I connect with friends, plan dinner parties and even shop. Nowadays, I search my Yelp app for new restaurant ideas, ask Facebook friends for product recommendations or text my friend to ask which yummy frozen pizza she made when I was over. And, on top of that, it continues to evolve so quickly that even my own use of social networking is unpredictable.

It’s no surprise when you consider the many changes Facebook has made in just 8 years of business: the fact that the app store has been around for only 4 years, and that just 6 years ago less than 10% of cell phone users had smartphones. A lot has changed regarding technology but our habits and motivators have changed as well, altering and evolving the social web. Oursocial networking habits have become more expressive, demanding, and a bit narcissistic over time. But, we have also become more socially engaged, seeking specific connections with others, even brands.

The name of the game for many brands adjusting to social networking shoppers is to listen and learn. And even so, it is hard to know where social networking will go next. Yet, from examining the past and present we feel that future change will be the result of advancing technology, behavioral evolution, and a desire for greater specificity, personalization, and simplicity in our everyday lives.

To read more about the evolution and drivers of the social web, download Part 1 of the 5 part CCRRC/Integer series Untangling the Social Web. Click here to download Part 1 and while you’re there, check out Part 2, which explores the innate human motivators that drive social networking.

*Source: Integer Primary Research, Nielsen. (2011, Q3). The State of Media: The Social Media Report, eMarketer. (2011, March). U.S. Social Network Usage: 2011 Demographics and Behavioral Trends.