It’s almost 2018. Almost everyone in the world and their 90-year old aunt uses Smartphones. In fact, 90% of its users on Twitter watched videos from a mobile device and there were over 90 billion Android app downloads in 2016.
From this point forward, it is simply cliché for anyone to say “the digital age has taken over” and “we live in a mobile world.”
Let’s take a quick look at one of the few (of many) reasons why Smartphones did for society and social media what Jimmy Page did for music.
1. Connect Faster
If you use the internet, chances are you use these apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, WeChat or Chrome (or all of them). A lot of people use these platforms. They not only let you connect with friends, colleagues and loved ones (as well as making new relationships along the way) – they give companies more opportunities to serve their customers. And if you don’t have a Smartphone, you can’t use these apps.
Never before in history have we literally been at each other’s fingertips. That statement is not hyperbole in the least. In fact, Millennials and Gen Y’ers rely less on communication by phone… preferring instant messaging. Which makes sense, given that they (myself included) grew up on technology; putting these two generations at a serious advantage over generations previous.
2. Viva La Revolucion!
Twitter and Facebook were used heavily by activists and protestors to kickstart a hefty number of protests. Remember Occupy Wall Street? The Arab Spring? Occupy Yale? Iranian election protests? How did protestors and social activists communicate with each other during these social movements? Smartphones, which also let those in attendance to provide real-time, front-line coverage. In ways many traditional news outlets could not and—still—cannot. (Plus, having a strong phone case like the Galaxy S8 Cases wouldn’t have hurt.)
3. If You Can See It…
WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook (including its Messenger service) share a staggering 3 billion images… and 10 billion videos. (That’s a lot of content.)
Which makes sense, given how the leading video-sharing platform, YouTube, has 300 hours of video uploaded to it every day. We simply live in an age where video and infographics hold more importance over articles and text statistics. (A point that isn’t lost on this writer. Personally, I learn by reading. Whenever confusion hits or I’m lost, visual aid is my second choice.)
A large reason for “video news” and “videotainment” is due to smartphones. As long as your smartphone has decent Wi-Fi: you get what you want, when you want, faster. With Brazil, Peru, India, Mozambique, and other third-world countries rapidly developing Wi-Fi accessibility, even people previously lost in the dark can tune in to what’s happening around the world.
Influencers—that is, social media darlings and “gurus” whose opinions affect millions of peoples’ thinking decisions—make great use of video and smartphones. Marketers (such as Neil Patel) make regular use of webinars, which allows them to help their customers in real-time and answer their questions.
For the artistically-inclined, many new Smartphones have megapixels approximately close (or equal to) $500-700 DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. In fact, these smartphones shoot in 4k quality. If you’ve been around the internet for a while, you know that 4k is beautiful.
These devices also let musicians record their hearts’ content as it happens – no fussing around with microphones, laptops, mixers or heavy equipment. Writers use Evernote, Writer and other writing apps to tap into their emotional depths and pen the next Farewell to Arms.
Creative people—innovative people—use smartphones to create new worlds we haven’t seen before and with a pair of good earbuds they are ready to check their creation. And that, alone, is worth sharing.
There is no sign that app developers, phone companies and Smartphone makers are slowing down. Is it hyperbole to say that we live in a constant state of innovation? I don’t think so. As we’ve just seen, smartphones are the primary reason we’re living in such an exciting time.