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The first mention of the word ‘social media’ dates back at least 15 years. Ted Leonis, a former executive at AOL, was quoted using the term in 1997: “.. social media, places where they can be entertained, communicate, and participate in a social environment”. Thanks to Web 2.0 technologies social media enhanced websites like Friendster (2002) and MySpace (2003) could emerge.

Amazingly, it took these websites, generally referred to as ‘social networks’, just a few years to reach a critical mass. After the introduction of smartphones (particularly the Apple iPhone in 2007) and wireless networks, the adoption rate of social media grew exponentially. Today, with over 1.1 billion members, Facebook is at the pinnacle of these social networks. Followed by Google+, Weibo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Renren and many others. Each reaching out to several hundreds of millions of people. With these numbers it is hard to renounce the dominant factor of social media in our everyday lives.

Social media have been referred to as the Second Wave of the internet (2001). The First Wave started in 1991 with the foundation of the world wide web by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau. Following Moore’s Law the Third Wave should occur 10-15 years after the Second Wave. Which brings us right on top of it.

What will this Third Wave be like?

That is precisely the question Edwin Korver, entrepreneur and business strategist, intended to answer during his presentation at the Technology 2020 event, organized by the NCD in The Netherlands. He believes it is vital to the survival of businesses to understand the implications: the Third Wave of internet will be more disruptive than anything we’ve encountered so far. You better come prepared!

The video below is in Dutch, but the presentation underneath the video is in English.


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