Is This the Future of Social Media?

Social media on Smartphone

I’m an advocate for social media and in particular enterprise social. However, it seems to me that although social media and enterprise social offer a huge number of benefits, there is an inherent problem.

So, you’ve got accounts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and use each of these independently. You also use your company’s Enterprise Social Platform to communicate and collaborate with colleagues around the world. This is all great, but I believe the next frontier will be the development of a new standard for communication between social networks.

Social Media Governance

Currently, communications can only stay within the social network itself. So, if an employee at Company X wants to send a message to an employee at Company Y, it’s currently not possible to do without resorting to email. There’s nothing that connects the networks in a standardised way to allow communications to be shared across networks.

In my opinion, the next major development in the area will be the development of a new standard capable of securely relaying trusted communications between social media platforms, perhaps Communication 2.0… A standard which can be relied upon to securely relay communications across the web, be consumed by the social platforms and read by the recipient. When this happens, I believe we’ll see a dramatic shift in the way we communicate online.

If I am correct, the risk landscape will change dramatically as data moves between platforms. When social media evolves enough to be able to communicate cross-platform, the risk of viruses infecting your platforms will increase. I imagine that we will see new types of viruses, malware or attacks being used to dupe unsuspecting and trusting users. Email systems are usually able to identify suspicious or spoofed emails, but, if a social media user receives a malicious message or attachment from a connection that they trust, they are far more likely to open it.

The idea of social media platforms communicating with each other may be some way off, but organisations need to have a watchful eye on technology developments today in order to be able to prepare for and manage the risks of the future. Trust can be lost quickly in the digital age and this makes it important to plan for tomorrow’s digital developments today.

Authored by:

Phil Mennie

Phil leads PwC’s Social Media Governance service, responsible for the review and implementation of effective Governance frameworks to support Enterprise Social Platforms and External Social Media.


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