Author Archives: Tom Cross

Facebook aged 10 – The smartphone crucial for future success

MediaCT_Like_us_the_wallFacebook is ten years old this week. Since its inception the site has been incredibly influential in altering the way that we communicate with each other. Recently however, the site has been compared by academics at Princeton University to a disease that people eventually build up immunity to. Its offer to purchase younger rival Snapchat was also rebuffed. So is Facebook in decline? Read more on Facebook aged 10 – The smartphone crucial for future success…

Is this the end of the text message or just an evolution?

Girls sitting down texting smallThis week it was announced that there had been a year-on-year drop in the number of text messages (SMS) sent for the first time since texting was invented. Younger generations are now using their smartphones to embrace cheaper, more visual forms of communication offered by instant messaging sites like Snapchat and Whatsapp. For younger smartphone users who have witnessed the more open and permanent nature of communication on sites like Facebook, these instant messaging sites represent a return to more private, SMS style communication, but designed with the smartphone in mind. The text message revolutionised the way we communicate and helped to prepare us for the current culture of immediacy before the smartphone emerged. But now that it has, people want more than just text. Read more on Is this the end of the text message or just an evolution?…

A New Challenge for the Next Generation

playstation xboxThe race for console supremacy has started again. Seven years ago there was a similar battle between Sony and Microsoft; similar, but different too. In 2006 the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were competing to dominate the console market, but they were competing only against each other, and the Nintendo Wii. Now there are new challengers for gamers’ attentions. We live in a completely different world to the one we lived in seven years ago. People expect content immediately now. This is a direct result of the sophistication of the smartphone and the ever increasing normality with which people use social media on the device.

Read more on A New Challenge for the Next Generation…

The Culture of Now – The rise of imagery in social media

Girls taking Selfie on Beach smallThe growth of social media sites with a focus on imagery rather than text, together with the rise in micro-video sharing, has resulted in a noticeable shift in the makeup of social media in 2013. A few years ago, people may have wondered whether Twitter’s 140 characters could allow us to truly express ourselves. Now, however, it seems that a few frames of video footage or an image uploaded in a matter of seconds is plenty. This new trend, embraced by millions of social media users, is a direct result of the continued synergy between social media and the smartphone. The increased sophistication of the smartphone and the rise in the normality of social media use means that we now use smartphones as a transmitter of our every mood and emotion. The result is that we are now becoming participants in a new form of communication. As spontaneity has been encouraged, a culture of now has emerged as we learn to consume and share a flurry of information and imagery with a seemingly unquenchable thirst. Read more on The Culture of Now – The rise of imagery in social media…

A Fragile Platform – Social Media in China

China Social MediaThis month it was announced that social media users in China could be charged and threatened with three year jail sentences if they spread ‘false’ rumours through social media. If one of these rumours is viewed by 5,000 people or is reposted more than 500 times, the source of that post would be liable. Read more on A Fragile Platform – Social Media in China…

A fine balance – social media sites source revenue streams

twitter social media conversationTwitter was forced to apologise to three of its users last week after their profiles had been used without their knowledge to endorse a new Twitter advertising product. After a tweeted apology to all of them, one replied ‘don’t do this again’, but is this a realistic request? The next couple of years represent a challenge for social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, as they feel the pressure to develop new revenue streams whilst simultaneously striving to ensure that their users do not feel any intrusion into a personalised space in which they currently feel comfortable. Read more on A fine balance – social media sites source revenue streams…

Buying back in

TomCross_ScreenshotYears ago, when I was living and working in Sydney, one conversation that would often be repeated in the bar after work was around the merits of the social networks MySpace and Bebo. As MySpace was the first social network that I truly embraced*, I obviously fought its corner and was somewhat sceptical of the arguments of some of my fellow British colleagues in favour of Bebo. It was around the same time that another relatively unknown site began to be talked about, and tentatively explored by both sides of the divide; a site which would ultimately render our discussions futile. That site was called Facebook. Read more on Buying back in…

Microsoft and Sony raise their game

Last week, details were released of the next generation Microsoft video games console, Xbox One. As with the announcement of the release of the new Sony console (PlayStation 4) earlier this year, there was a great sense of anticipation. The video games market has changed a lot in the last few years, with a greater level of choice than ever before.

Read more on Microsoft and Sony raise their game…

From the brick to slick – 40 years of the mobile phone

40 years of the mobile phoneForty years ago this week, Martin Cooper, who headed up Motorola’s communications systems division, made the first known mobile phone call to the amazement of the New Yorkers who were present to witness it.  Cooper had for a long time felt that the future would be one where people had the freedom to communicate by phone on the move, but surely even he could not have envisaged the full impact that mobile phones would have globally 40 years on.  Read more on From the brick to slick – 40 years of the mobile phone…