Social media leading to economic opportunities
Major businesses such as Facebook and Amazon.com are collaborating to invest in small social media companies as they notice potential for new ecommerce.
Ecommerce is becoming a driving force in social media, with a number of internet-based companies changing entire industries in recent years. Subsequently, a number of corporations have created an investment consortium to develop the industry through small social media ecommerce companies.
Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, said at a press conference that emerging technologies are making it possible to essentially choose an industry and change the way it functions with social media ecommerce initiatives.
John Doerr, a partner of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, one of the consortium members, told a news conference audience "we're at the beginning of a new era for social internet innovators who are re-imagining and reinventing a web of people and places, looking beyond documents and websites."
Facebook, for example, has completely changed the video game industry through ecommerce based social games. Titles such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars garner attention from 70 percent of users, according to the social media giant.
Profits are gained from these free-to-play games when users spend money on in-game items. With Facebook's deployment on mobile devices, a new wave of mcommerce has developed as users purchase products for their game characters through their smartphones.
Zuckerburg said payments innovation in music is an industry that social media could transform in the near future.
In order to facilitate that growth, Apple updated its iTunes platform with a new social media tool last month. Ping is a simple feature that allows users to share their playlists with friends and keep track of who is listening to various songs. Through a simple status updating system, iTunes users are automatically shown what songs their friends are listening to at any point in time.
The transparency of Ping is designed to create a viral environment for song purchases, piquing user interest based on what their friends like. This exposes users to new music and generates ecommerce as consumers make buying decisions based on their social circles.
Recently, social media outlets have also improved mobile commerce methods through QR codes. QR codes are square barcodes that contain more information than their linear counterparts.
Through these tools, companies can directly link users from objects in the physical world to an online marketplace where they can make purchases. Smartphone cameras can be equipped with the ability to scan QR codes through applications, and the method is creating a new wave of mobile commerce.