By Nathan Rudyk

If you're looking for the immediate future of social media, look no further than Facebook. Today Reuters Hollywood Reporter Georg Szalai wrote that Facebook's audience rose 129% on a year-over-year basis, to 19.5 million in July.

Meanwhile, the social media site for the fathers of Facebookers, MySpace, rose by a less impressive 33%, though with a larger audience of 61.3 million.

Before you ponder the longer-term future, here's a globalization insight to consider from University of Ottawa Internet law professor Michael Geist, in an interesting plea for "social media interoperability":

While Facebook is a leader in the UK (as well as in Canada, South Africa, and Norway), nearly a dozen other sites hold leadership positions in other countries.These include MySpace (United States, Australia, Mexico, and Italy), Bebo (Ireland and New Zealand) , Cyworld (South Korea), Friendster (Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore) , Fotolog (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay), Hi5 (Colombia, Ecuador, and Thailand), Mixi (Japan), Orkut (Brazil, India, and Paraguay) , Skyblog (France, Belgium, Senegal), Studiverzeichnis (Germany, Austria) and Vkontakte (Russia).

With your grip now tightened on the global social media scene, open up those fingers for a second and look into your palm. That's where the future's going.

In BusinessWeek, Juniper research forecasts that the number of mobile users accessing social networking sites via their phones is forecast to rise from 14 million in 2007 to nearly 600 million in 2012, driving mobile user-generated content revenues from $572 million this year to $6 billion five short years from now.

My colleague Jill McCubbin has blogged about the future impact of the Millenial Mind, "tomorrow’s customers, employees, executives, competition". If desktop-based social media is the present state-of-the-art in human communication, and mobile-based social media points to the next wave, you need to start thinking now about how marketing and/or services offerings are going to adapt the the future that's moving to the palm of your hand.

(Nathan Rudyk is President and CEO of market2world communications inc., Canada's tech PR and product launch agency, and founder of Ottawa's OCRIRadio.com tech business podcast.)
 
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