According to a report from iSuppli, the wireless social networking market stands to revolutionize the global technology business by 2020. The research firm estimates that over the next 12 years the wireless social networking value chain, including products, services, applications, components and advertising, will generate more than $2.5 trillion in revenue. iSuppli said that companies that can capitalize on this phenomenon stand to lead the technology business, while those that can’t risk becoming irrelevant.
iSupply defines a social network as a software-based community that shares common interests or activities. Services like MySpace and Facebook have proved the strong appeal of social networks, particularly among tech-savvy young people.
“Over the next 10 years, as mobile devices like smartphones become the primary channel for viewing content or accessing the Internet, social networking will move largely into the wireless realm, providing the type of ubiquitous connection that consumers are demanding,” said Derek Lidow, president and CEO at iSuppli, in a statement. “This event will accompany the creation of a new generation of applications that will greatly expand the appeal and utility of social networking, and will finally generate profits for the social networking industry. Within 10 years, the social-networking business, primarily driven by wireless devices, will transform into ‘must-have’ applications and products, both for consumers and for businesses.”
iSuppli’s analysis indicates there are three levels of interaction associated with the space that surrounds each individual: immediate family and intimate friends, extended friends and shared interest groups.
The research firm contends that the proliferation of wireless social networking applications will accompany the development of a new generation of mobile devices designed to support wireless social-networking activities, including communications, sharing and viewing of content. This will cause wireless devices to become the primary communication, content and application access devices for consumers and businesses by 2018.
This will have a profound impact on key enabling technologies for such devices, including displays, semiconductors and storage and memory. The variety of different applications for social networking, from collaborative games to work groups, will place increasing emphasis on display technologies for mobile platforms. New and emerging technologies, including touchscreens, flexible displays and displays that integrate motion sensors, will be employed to serve the input/output needs of these varying platforms and applications.