Big in 2013, social media to grow, transform lives in the new year

Social mediaFrom being a platform for making friends to a melting pot of views and opinions, social media has transformed the way newsrooms and newsmakers interacted with the world in 2013. Reuters

From being a platform for making friends to a melting pot of views and opinions, social media has transformed the way newsrooms and newsmakers interacted with the world in 2013.

And, with the exponential growth of affordable smart devices, this transition is set to expand further.

From the outrage following the December 2012 gangrape in India to the coronation of Pope Francis, paying tributes to Nelson Mandela, to "selfies" of Barrack Obama and James Camaron, the year saw social media push the boundaries of protests, mourning and self-promotion.

Gone are the days when having a profile on Facebook was considered being socially active. The youth today is catching up with friends on Facebooks, Twitter, BBM, Whatsapp and a plethora of apps from their PCs, mobile phones and tablets.

As this seamless mix of sociology and technology morphed into a powerful platform for public's engagement with the government, policy makers also logged on to gauge public views and looking for a stronger connect with the "aam aadmi".

Analysts expect political parties in the country to make greater use of social media for their election campaigns to increase voter support, especially among the youth.

The new year will see further expansion of this medium as companies making salt to software use this platform to advertise their products, services and connect with customers.

Advertisers are taking an integrated cross-channel approach across social media and traditional channels, while brands are turning to it for providing customer service and support.

"In 2014, we expect more brands to recognise that digital is not a channel that is fitted into existing thinking, it needs a new way of thinking. Marketers are expected to invest more in data capabilities to understand the performance of their digital campaigns," SapientNitro Co-Global Deliver Lead and Sapient India MD Rajdeep Endow said.

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