From the margins to the mainstream, social media is becoming so deeply embedded in our lives that it’s the new normal. What once used to be a destination is now a layer that runs through the web. This morning, JWT New York kicked off Social Media Week with a keynote from David Eastman, JWT North America CEO. In his address, “Social is Eating the Web,” he looked at the ways social has evolved and its effects on both brands and consumers.
On the surface, social may look like a tumultuous sea of change—new apps, sites and trends are constantly appearing (and disappearing just as quickly). However, underneath all that change, Eastman noted that what we’re witnessing is really a long-term shift. If software is eating the world as Marc Andreessen said, then social is eating the web.
Social is at the heart of the web, and the web is quickly becoming the heart of everything—and that, in turn, makes social a very big deal. Take a quick stock of your own iPhone and you’ll see how the web is reimagining the technology central to our lives: Instagram is your photo album, LinkedIn is your resume and rolodex, Spotify is your record collection, Kindle is your library. Now look at those apps a little closer. They’re not just high tech, they’re socially networked tech.
“The new architecture of the web has social plumbing,” Eastman said. It paints a great picture of the state of the internet and the state of social, namely that the two are growing increasingly into one another.
These shifts are creating massive opportunities for brands who understand how to harness the tools and consumer behaviors of the social space. For one, P2P is quickly becoming the way consumers filter product information, make buying decisions, form opinions and endorse brands—a valuable insight for brands looking to make actionable and meaningful connections to their consumers.
Wrapping up his keynote, Eastman called attention to the nearly 2.5 billion (a third of the planet) who are connected online today. By the end of the decade it’ll be 5 billion. They certainly aren’t numbers to brush aside. And Eastman reminded us all, that in the end, social media is about human connections—“The internet is a network of people, not computers,” he said and added that it is that very same human quality that makes the internet (and social) so interesting and relevant to each and every person.
Watch the full keynote below:
We’ll be covering select Social Media Week events here on the JWT blog, so check back for the latest updates. You can join the conversation by following @JWTNewYork, @JWT_Worldwide and tweeting with the hashtag #smw13.
For more information about Social Media Week events at JWT New York, click here.