Social technologies are a modern phenomenon. They have found favour with consumers at a faster rate than any previous technologies.
Writing for McKinsey Quarterly, Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui and James Manyika point out that it took 13 years for commercial television to reach 50 million households, while internet service providers signed their 50 millionth subscriber in just three years. What’s more, Facebook gained 50 million users in just one year, while Twitter needed only nine months to accrue the same total.
The authors observe that this accelerated pace of adoption by the world’s consumers has been accompanied by sweeping cultural, economic and social changes. They add that companies have also adopted the technologies but have only generated a small fraction of their potential value.