10 years of the iPhone and Facebook reaching 2 billion users

This summer we reached two major milestones, both of which are now working together to have a seismic influence on the way we live our lives, communicate and do business.

The first was the 10th anniversary of the iPhone going on sale. I have previously written about the effect this had on business (click here). But just let me reiterate some of its major influences on modern living:

  • It moved the internet away from being something you did primarily on a computer so ushered in the true mobile internet age.
  • It helped create today's app economy. This is again the next development in computing and programming.
  • It truly enabled the social networks to reach their full potential and gave rise to the popular social messaging sites that millions of us use every day.
  • It put high-powered computers into our pockets, handbags and cars.
  • It paved the way for the 'selfie era' and allowed us all to become editors, publishers and broadcasters.

Apple may no longer be the market leader and innovator it once was, as there is fierce competition from the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Sony. However, like the development of the telephone or the television, this one device paved the way for a wholly new way of communicating.

Which brings me neatly to the other key milestone. Recently it was announced that Facebook now has 2 billion regular users. Not bad for a computer programme written to keep college students in touch with one another.

Again, I have written previously about where this social network is going (
click here). It has three core areas it is focusing on:

  1. Connectivity. Quite simply they want all 7 billion people on the planet to be on the site. Not just 2 billion!
  2. Virtual reality. The next version of Facebook will be a 3D one where you will actually be able to interact in a virtual world with your friends and brands.
  3. Artificial intelligence. Already being used in Facebook Messenger via chatbots, Facebook see AI and machine learning as having key roles to play in the development of the site.

Whenever I consult with companies or train people to use Facebook, I make it clear that it is no longer a simple social media site. It should actually be treated as an incredibly sophisticated targeted ad platform, customer service tool and market intelligence tracker.

Along with its Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus brands, this company really has an ambitious vision for a connected world, harnessing the sun's energy, using the latest technological developments and bringing together the human race.

Of course, without the iPhone, this would have been far harder. Indeed Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying he wished mobile technology has been more developed when Facebook was first created.

So, for good or indeed ill, we are now in the post industrial, smartphone-enabled and social media age. Whether we are business owner, parent or ordinary citizen, we better get used to this new world order.

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