Is This the Future of Social Media?

Phil Mennie
Phil Mennie Social Media Risk & Governance Leader, PwC

Posted on January 10th 2014

Is This the Future of Social Media?

I’m an advocate for social media and in particular enterprise social. However, it seems to me that although social media and enterprise social offer a huge number of benefits, there is an inherent problem.

So, you’ve got accounts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and use each of these independently. You also use your company’s Enterprise Social Platform to communicate and collaborate with colleagues around the world. This is all great, but I believe the next frontier will be the development of a new standard for communication between social networks.Social Media Governance

Currently, communications can only stay within the social network itself. So, if an employee at Company X wants to send a message to an employee at Company Y, it’s currently not possible to do without resorting to email. There’s nothing that connects the networks in a standardised way to allow communications to be shared across networks.

In my opinion, the next major development in the area will be the development of a new standard capable of securely relaying trusted communications between social media platforms, perhaps Communication 2.0... A standard which can be relied upon to securely relay communications across the web, be consumed by the social platforms and read by the recipient. When this happens, I believe we’ll see a dramatic shift in the way we communicate online.

If I am correct, the risk landscape will change dramatically as data moves between platforms. When social media evolves enough to be able to communicate cross-platform, the risk of viruses infecting your platforms will increase. I imagine that we will see new types of viruses, malware or attacks being used to dupe unsuspecting and trusting users. Email systems are usually able to identify suspicious or spoofed emails, but, if a social media user receives a malicious message or attachment from a connection that they trust, they are far more likely to open it.

The idea of social media platforms communicating with each other may be some way off, but organisations need to have a watchful eye on technology developments today in order to be able to prepare for and manage the risks of the future. Trust can be lost quickly in the digital age and this makes it important to plan for tomorrow’s digital developments today.

Phil Mennie

Phil Mennie

Social Media Risk & Governance Leader, PwC

Phil leads PwC's Social Media Governance service, responsible for the review and implementation of effective Governance frameworks to support Enterprise Social Platforms and External Social Media. Social Media offers a wide range of benefits and those companies which effectively harness it grow rapidly, increase market share and drive innovation. However, appropriate Risk Management and Governance must sit at the heart of the Social Strategy if it is to be a success in the long term.

Phil's expertise in Social Media stems from his experience using Web Technology to better manage financial and operational data. He has lead engagements across a broad range of industries, including in Banking and Finance where he lead the development of a secure web-based payment system and a large-scale customer-facing web application to capture trade data.

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Posted on January 11th 2014 at 2:00AM

Interesting idea. So your vision would allow me to send a message from my Twitter account to your LinkedIn account? Like an email, but with varying social media addresses. I like it.

Phil Mennie
Posted on January 12th 2014 at 7:19AM

absolutely right! Glad you like the idea! I think this would bring us a lot closer to a viable replacement for email.

Posted on January 11th 2014 at 7:27PM

Very interesting idea, Phil! This would totally streamline communication, rather than force everyone to join every single network. Do you think this could allow the people that enjoy Twitter or Google + to be on that network, and the people that enjoy Facebook to use that? Therefore eliminating the need for one person having multiple profiles?

Phil Mennie
Posted on January 12th 2014 at 7:17AM

That's right Hailley. This would mean we don't need profiles on all of the platforms but can still communicate with our friends on other platforms. The idea came to me when thinking about Enterprise Social Platforms. I see lots of organisations implementing them internally and see communications moving from email to enterprise social. Of course, however, these messages can only be shared on that particular platform. So, it seems that if so many organisations are implementing enterprise social, a logical next step will be communications between them.

Felix Brown
Posted on April 28th 2014 at 2:22AM

Today social media is one of the best activities to get connected with new people online. The Future of social media is very strong. I think this should be a good idea for any online promotion.