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The Future of Social Networking

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This is the guest lecture I gave at Singularity University on June 28, 2012 on the topic "The Future of Social Networking". It covers a high level review of the history of social networking, what …

This is the guest lecture I gave at Singularity University on June 28, 2012 on the topic "The Future of Social Networking". It covers a high level review of the history of social networking, what differentiates it as a disruptive platform, and ideas for how mobile will accelerate it as a disruptive platform in the future.

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  • Transcript

    • 1. The Future of Social Networking
    • 2. The Future of Social Networking Adam Nash Executive in Residence, Greylock Partners June 28, 2012
    • 3. Where to begin...
    • 4. A little about my background (and bias)Education in Computer Science, focus on Human Computer InteractionMost recently Vice President, Product Management at LinkedInLed efforts around:• User Experience• Growth• Search• Mobile• Platform• HackdaysHeavy bias towards social networking & mobile platforms
    • 5. Precursors to Social NetworksWide variety of relevant / related products• Email• Addressbooks• IM / Chat• Discussion boards• Photosharing• Online identitiesWhat is unique about the modern social networking platforms?How did we get from there to here?
    • 6. Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0Web 1.0 introduced a massive, disruptive platform• Open standards for content definition and transmission• Centralized software deployment (versioning, configuration,specialization)• Massive resource scalability• Massive conversion of PC clients to networked clientsTwo significant weaknesses for operational / economic scalability• Content generation• User acquisitionWeb 2.0 added two disruptions to the platform• User generated content• Viral social distribution
    • 7. Social networking is a massive, disruptive platform Disruption is enabled when something extremely powerful and valuablegoes from being expensive & scarce to being inexpensive & abundant People are (currently) the most interesting & valuable elements of humaninteraction. Fundamental changes from precursors • People are first class entities • Profile data is user-generated content • People & Relationships rationalized in the cloud into single graph Social networking platforms make information about people inexpensive& abundant • Data about who a person is • Data about who they know
    • 8. Three pillars of social networking systems An identity only has value if the human behind it cares about it. Relationships are a fundamental component of communication & relevance. There must be a flow of activity between the identities and across the relationships thatIdentity Relationships Activity justifies, maintains & magnifies their value.
    • 9. The platforms work because we care
    • 10. LinkedIn as a Platform Jobs Advertising Subscriptions ... (Hiring Sols) (Marketing Sols) (Freemium) UsersPlatform Technology Content Activity 10
    • 11. What’s Next? We have gone from platforms that can reach tens of millions of people toplatforms that can reach billions of people. At this same instant in history, we now have two billion-personplatforms: social networks & mobile devices (“gigapeople?”) Distribution scale & velocity is unprecedented Costs of providing a service that reaches 100 million+ users and getting100 million+ users on that service are orders of magnitude lower than justfive years ago. • LinkedIn took 494 days to hit 1 million users • Instagram took 76 days to hit 1 million users • ... they had 1M downloads in 24 hours after launching on Android
    • 12. Mobile is the ultimate social enabler It’s a personal, sensor-enabled device 91% of people with smartphones in the US keep it within 3 feet at alltimes They are tactile, touch-based devices. We are wired to love them. They are communication devices & know who we care about, how often,how recently We don’t have a crystal in everyone’s ear (yet), but we’ve got a roughapproximation.
    • 13. What is now becoming abundant & effectively free Ability to process & manipulateabsolutely massive data sets in realtime Ubiquitous location for people What people are thinking and/ordoing Emotion & passion
    • 14. Don’t be anti-social Adam Nashhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/adamnash @adamnash 14

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