No More 'Social Media,' More Single Log-ins for Multiple Platforms

Dec 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- As more people use social media platforms, they will begin moving away from using the term 'social media' in the new year, predicts Dr. Karla Gower, associate professor of advertising and public relations.

Social media platforms, such as MySpace, and , have changed the way people communicate and behave. As more people use these platforms, they will begin moving away from using the term “” in the new year, predicts Dr. Karla Gower, associate professor of advertising and public relations at The University of Alabama.

“‘New media,’ its predecessor, is already passé, and the idea of ’social media’ will soon be yesterday’s news, too,” she says.

In 2010, new technologies will facilitate the integration of social media applications. About one million social networks exist on Ning, a that lets users join and create social networks.

“Obviously, not all of those are fully functional,” Gower adds.“But one of the problems so far is that, ironically, social networks have been like separate islands.” They allow for sharing within, but not across networks.

“For example, I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo and PROpenMic,” Gower explains.“I have to log in to each to keep up to date with what’s going on in each.That’s what is going to change next year.”

Yahoo and Facebook have already formed a union to allow Facebook users to update their status across multiple platforms at once. Google and Twitter have a similar relationship. Google has also introduced Google Wave, an open platform for real-time communication and media sharing. A single log-in will allow users to upload and share content, as well as to collaborate with others around the world.

On the downside, the blurring of the personal and professional will also grow with integration.

“Currently, most people maintain separate identities in each social network they are on,” Gower says.“Often is for personal friendships; while LinkedIn is for business contacts. But keeping the two separate will be increasingly difficult as the islands become one integrated network.”

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