Will 2019 See an Even Bigger Explosion in User-Generated Data?

Every single day there are approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created… 🤔

(Let that sink in.)

As the Internet of Things makes more of an impact on daily lives, that number is only going to get greater.

Over the last two years, mankind has created 90 percent of the data that currently exists in the world. It’s almost impossible to put that into something that our minds can comprehend.

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On a daily basis, Google processes around 40,000 searches a second. When you do the math, that adds up to 3.5 billion searches on a daily basis. Google represents approximately 77 percent of all of the Internet searches that are done. So this means that there is another 23 percent being done using other search engines. In total there are around five billion searches every day.

Social Media and User Generated Content

The world loves social media. Our collective addiction love of social media has led to the creation of more data than at any other movement in mankind’s history.

Just think of the amount of user content that’s created every minute by social media. Snapchat users share more than 500,000 photos every single minute. This means that every single day just on Snapchat more than 720 million images are shared.

Twitter is another popular social media outlet. It’s estimated that every single minute 456,000 tweets are sent. And more than 660 million photographs are posted on Instagram daily.

Of course, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other forms of social media pale in comparison to the juggernaut that is Facebook. The amount of user data that is created via Facebook is mind-boggling.

There are over two billion active users on Facebook. The world’s population currently sits at a little over seven billion. So 25 percent of the world’s population is generating some type of content on Facebook on a regular basis.

There are 3.2 billion photographs are shared on a daily basis. Every minute 293,000 statuses are updated. Every 60 seconds 510,000 comments are posted.

Many people believe that we are headed to a user generated data explosion that is going to be out of control. What is society supposed to do with so much data?

Handling the Explosion of UGD

On the big question we face is what to do with all of the user generated data. As we’ve clearly seen, users are producing data at a rate one could not fathom just a few years ago.

There is no reason to believe that we are going to see a downturn in the amount of data generated by users. To the contrary, as more people become connected to the Internet and as social media, the Internet of Things, and VoIP technology becomes a more essential part of everyday life, we can only expect the amount of user data created to skyrocket.

How will the data be stored? Is there a way to analyze all of this data? Is there a benefit to being able to act on this data either to predict financial trends or to prevent dangerous activities by individuals with unscrupulous desires?

There is a challenge when it comes to user data on social media sites. Most of the data is unstructured. You can’t tag the data, so analyzing it using analytical tools is a challenge. Trying to analyze all of this information using manpower is an impossible task. Just a few years ago, an enterprise could hire an individual to try to make sense of user created data about their company on social media.

Today, you would need a literal army of people to do the same. At the end of the day, much of the user created data, be it on social media, blogs, and other places, has been stored but never used.

Interoperable User Content

One of the most interesting aspects of the current Cambrian Explosion of user generated content is the consequences of platform agnostic content. A video recorded on an iPhone can be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a host of other content platforms. It can be diced up or even converted into text by AI-power transcription services.

We’re seen this especially with Slideshare, where users have taken segments of videos and turned them into slide presentations. One piece of content can now essentially multiple itself over multiple platforms. Users can now even edit PDFs and easily turn them into a slideshow or simple video, massively increasing a file’s reach. This is great for businesses, who often use PDFs for reports, case studies, and memos, but don’t achieve nearly as much exposure as can with video.

The rise of platform agnostic content contributes to an even greater reach of the original piece allows platform natives in segmented groups to access information they wouldn’t otherwise encounter.

How User Data and Consumer Data Are Changing the Way Businesses Operate

User data production and collection are affecting the way businesses operate. You can think of something as simple as a refrigerator.

Smart fridges are collecting data from their users and then using that data to help users make decisions on everything from when to purchase more milk down to what products in their refrigerator are healthy and which ones are not. In addition to helping the end-user, the data that is later collected by refrigerator manufacturers alters the manufacturer’s business strategy.

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The ability to collect user data from something as mundane as an appliance transforms the way an appliance manufacturer sees their interaction with their customer. They go from simply being concerned about building hardware to providing software and services.

A customer goes from being a one-time purchaser to being someone who the manufacturer can now build a lifetime relationship with.

User Generated Data Explosion

User generated data, be it via social media or via a voice over IP call, text message, or blog, is already having a major impact on the way the world functions. In the future that impact is going to be more profound.

Back in 2010, there were 12.5 billion Internet connected devices on the planet. By 2020, the estimates are that there will be more than 50 billion Internet connected devices on the planet.

Each one of them will create data that can potentially be stored, analyzed, and used to improve the user’s experience as well as provide businesses with insight into the choices of their customers.

One thing the explosion of user generated data is creating is concerns about securing the data. Many businesses feel that by giving users more control over their data, they will pave the way for greater changes in product design, new innovations in social media, and changes in telecommunications.

The obvious question is, what will social media, smart appliances, and the Internet of the Things of the future be like? Only time will tell, but one can be sure that user data will play a vital role.

What do you think about the explosion of user data the world is currently experiencing? Do you have any predictions for the future? If so, let us know in the comment section below.

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