Established service providers within the digital lifestyle technology and ICT space have said while the novelty of instant publishing capability and automated messaging through social media may be diminishing, these forums remain hugely popular as a primary means of interaction between users.
Businesses in the ICT and telecommunications space believe that digital communication has emerged as the preferred method of making contact and possibly establishing relationships, including romance.
People have myriad technologies available to them – including smartphones, 3D devices and android platforms to facilitate instant interaction via social websites.
Companies like Vodacom have an established social media team whose responsibility it is to keep track of consumer behaviour and user requirements related to social media.
As an example the company has developed and introduced to their market Night Shift, a subscription service available to prepaid and Top Up customers that facilitates after-hours chat between users.
Richard Boorman, spokesperson for Vodacom, said this initiative offered the user a low-cost, hassle-free connected forum through which to interact.
The question of whether the proliferation of social networks and the impact of solutions like smartphones actually improved the quality of interaction between people was one that management did take into consideration.
“I have paid close attention to the development of social media. I believe the enthusiasm for using these resources to instantly publish and automatically post every aspect of a person’s life has decreased. At the same time, social media platforms remain very popular – especially the text message service, which, in my opinion, remains one of the more personal means of interaction,” said Boorman.
Ryan Hooker, consumer electronics director at LG Electronics SA, said retailers were focused on the development and introduction of smart technology to encourage and enable more interaction between people. The focus is on providing technology that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but technologically innovative and easy to use.
“Social media has drawn a big interest from consumers around the world and the need to be ‘connected’ all the time is a necessity for them. In this light technology has to follow suit in addressing these consumer needs. To enable the always-connected environment consumers require and where they can not only be in contact with friends and family instantly and all the time, but are also capable to be in the know and receive news, weather updates and entertainment when they want it, whenever they want it, technology had to evolve.”