To say that social media is disrupting industries worldwide would be an understatement. But just how deep does the social vein run and what impact will that have on future business models? In this blog post, we will explore that question in order to determine the power that social media has to alter verticals worldwide and what it means for businesses everywhere.

In the video footage above, taken from the 2010 Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shares his vision for the next generation of businesses, which he thinks will be built around people. According to Zuckerberg (17:58 of video):

“I think that over 5 years most industries are going to get rethought to be social and designed around people.”

According to his thesis, social media will be the catalyst that drives a major shift in the way business is done globally. He uses the example of Facebook Photos, which was built in a couple months by a few Facebook Engineers and was able to overtake Flickr because of one simple feature set – social integration. Zuckerberg states that “a social version of anything will outperform any other version,”; and he may have a point.

Pushing aside the fact that the Facebook CEO would have an obvious bias on this topic, there is a strong case to be made that the difference between now and any other other time in the history of business is the disruptive potential of social media. The almost instantaneous proliferation of information and data from person to person, network to network, has the potential to transform verticals around the world almost overnight.

The question is not so much if socially-based business models will transform industries worldwide, but when, where and how. The seismic social shift is already beginning in areas like fashion and design, but it will be interesting to see social business models that have a much larger societal impact. Given that we may be at only the beginning of the social media wave, it may take some time, but you can bet that the impact will be profound and that anyone who doesn’t get on board soon will be left in the dust.

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