The Evolving Role of Social Media

AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
The Evolving Role
of Social Media
By its very nature, collaboration is a social activity. Over the
last ten years, social media and social networking services
have dramatically changed the landscape for collaboration
tools and technologies, but not in the ways you expect. When
we wrote the first edition of this book, we debated about
whether to include a chapter on the social media tools of the
day, but decided that they were too nascent and barely used
by the legal profession. Much has changed since that time.
As we write this chapter, Facebook has more than two bil-
lion users, many of whom use it every day and, in most cases,
by using the Facebook mobile app on a smartphone. LinkedIn
has more than five hundred million users. Twitter has hundreds
of millions of users, as do many other social media platforms.
We initially thought that social media platforms also were
ideal as collaboration platforms. The feature set for collabora-
tion can definitely be found in your average social media tool—
groups, file sharing, messaging, video and more. However,
the popularity of social media platforms moved us in slightly
different directions.
First, social media brought smartphones and mobile
apps into play as collaboration technologies. Nowadays, it is
impossible to see how a collaboration tool or platform can be
successful without an app that lets users access it via their
smartphone or tablet. Along with cloud computing, mobile
apps support the anytime, anywhere nature of collaboration
and the demands of people who want to work together.
Second, rather than collaboration moving into social
media platforms, social media functionality has moved into

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