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Why The Web Is Becoming Less Social

The web today is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate and it’s not just the humans that are becoming connected at accelerating rates but  ‘things’.

This month non-human objects such as GPS devices and Broadband TV’s are coming online in greater numbers in the last 3 months with AT&T and Verizon than new human subscribers according to research analyst Chetan Sharma.Why The Web Is Becoming Less Social

So you thought social networking was the center of the web growth universe?

That laptop that is placed conveniently at arms length from your bed is not the the only connected device that is making an impact on the way we live, interact, work, socialize and play.

Even though our web social interaction has picked up at a fierce pace with Facebook, Twitter and You Tube being our most popular social media interaction channels of choice the ‘things’ we use are having micro chips attached and are being linked and networked via the internet into the world wide webs backbone and nervous system.

So what are some of the facts and figures and predictions that will impact our social web and how we will use the Internet over the next few years and decades.

  • The number of devices are that are connected to the Internet is expected to pass 5 billion later this month according to IMS research (this includes digital picture frames, cameras and ebook readers)
  • Predictions are that by 2020 that the number of  connected ‘things’ will surpass 22 billion
  • Currently over 1 billion computers worldwide are regularly connected to the internet
  • Internet connected phones have now passed 1 billion (exceeding the number of computers) and growing far more rapidly
  • By 2020 there is predicted to be 6 billion cell phones with most being connected to the net

This 5 minute video from IBM will give you some perspective on this fast growing world of the Internet of things.

If you want to look a little further into the future you may want to consider these predictions by Chief Futurist for Cisco Systems, Dave Evans

  • By 2012, 90% of data will be video
  • By 2050 a computer with the computing power of nine billion brains will be available for $1,000
  • We currently only know 5% of what we will know in 50 years

So there are a couple of considerations we should not ignore in planning your corporate social media marketing strategy and that is video and mobile is definitely going to be a large part of the future.

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • You are writing far too many interesting blog posts. You are doing an outstanding job — consistently interesting and well written.

    This particular subject is near to my heart. I love thinking through the implications of these convergences. If your readers are interested i wrote a post on 10 social-tech megatrends that also talke more about this “Internet of Connected Things”


    Thanks again for the great work, Jeff!

  • Meanwhile, are people becoming less connected? And less social?

  • Great observations about the increasing number of non-human inhabitants of the net, but I’d like to add a thought:

    Many of these connected objects will be communicating on our behalf, based on settings, preferences and learned priorities that we give them. This makes them proxies for ourselves who may interact with other people’s proxies, or the other people themselves. It strikes me that that is still socializing.

    I’m excited to see these predictions become realities.

  • Guest

    I have to say that I’m a bit confused. The internet community consists of the people that use it. Our devices play the role of connecting us to the infrastructure. How does a proliferation of devices affect the behavior of those using the internet, so as to make the internet a less social place?

    I’m not seeing the connected dots.

  • I too am having diffuclty try to decipher the correlations with the data and facts you gave and the “Non socialness” of it all.

  • Considering that its anticipated that the number of devices will grow to over 22 billion by 2020, where and when will smart cameras enter the mix of ‘thing’?

  • Adrian Stevenson

    You are reading the title in the wrong context, what it means is that non-human devices are surpassing the amount of online users. e.g. 22 billion devices are connected but only 1 billion people. What it is simply getting at is that more and more devices are being integrated into the internet, it is no longer just a pc, laptop or tablet, it is now TV, radio, alarm systems, telephones, smartphones, house hold utilities like fridge freezers, photo frames etc.

  • Samantha

    Another good blog post! As online marketers, we are now in a battle of
    worth between human work and non-human work. Ultimately, nothing can
    replace the quality and intricacies of services provided by humans. I just hope that people understand the value of human work and interaction off and online.

  • Guest123

    Wow this is really poorly written. Wow.