SI Social: How the iPhone 5 Could Change the Social Media Landscape

September 5th, 2012 by Search Influence Alumni


Oh, Apple. You and your sexy marketing campaigns. You know that we love all that sleekness, those stark white backgrounds. And do I need a new phone? Nope; my iPhone 4 still works just fine (albeit a little slower than it did when I bought it a year and a half ago). But now, with the launch of what we think might be the iPhone 5 right around the corner on September 12th, the internet is being flooded with videos and roundup posts about the new gadget, which is rumored to have a taller screen than its predecessor.

Of course, we don’t even know if it’s actually going to be called the 5, although Apple sure is teasing us with that image up above. According to TechCrunch, the 5 will simply be called “The New iPhone,” if this image is to be believed (looks pretty suspicious to me). They’re also telling us that the new screen will be larger, meaning we can cram an extra row of apps in there. Supposedly, the headphone jack is on the bottom now. Really, the actual name doesn’t matter, because appearance is only a small part of why we care about these phones. Sleek is great, but our dependency on them as a part of our modern lives is all about what they allow us to do.

What I need my phone to do, for example, is let me use it like a computer as much as possible. So instead of dying quickly because I’m running Twitter, Facebook, and Google Analytics simultaneously, I need it to last longer. Aside from that, I need it to offer me something that can allow me to further weave myself into the social media universe. What tools can it offer me? We know that no one buys the iPhone anymore because they need to make actual phone calls. As long as I could still send texts, I’d consider cutting off the actual phone service if I had the option. Yeah, it’s a little nuts, but the trend shows we all prefer data transmission in other ways (and make of that what you will).

What else could it do to be transformative in the ways we use social media? On-the-go communication is crucial, and Apple is almost certainly keeping an eye on the multi-variegated capabilities that more and more networks demand. Increased battery life helps, but it just lets us do more of what we’re already doing. What if if offered a way to update all social networks simultaneously (and pick and choose which ones the updates go on, if we like)? In my personal opinion, I didn’t get much out of Siri; although she’s a good idea, the functionality simply doesn’t meet my needs as a blogger and certified social media addict. While Siri aimed to make our lives easier by managing these aspects, she didn’t adapt much to allow us to use social media in a new or different way — and that’s what we, both as marketers and private users, need.

For instance, as a professional writer and blogger, one thing I feel my phone has always lacked is a way to write comfortably from my phone. Could the new iPhone’s increased keyboard space be a solution? Instagram addicts may ask for built-in photo sharing capabilities, or professional social media showrunners could drool at the thought of built-in feed automation. I’m sure every user has their own wishlist. Since people will buy the new phone regardless of whether its revolutionary or more of the same, perhaps these squabbles are minor at best. Or maybe it’s less about the phone itself and more about the apps available, although the phone has to have the power to run them in the first place. With the next generation’s increased processing speeds and functionality, an omnipresent mobile social media connection may not be too far away.

Do you think the new iPhone going to change the way we interact? Or is it just going to be more of the same?