Proceeding with Caution in the New Frontier
Social media has quickly become the foremost activity on the Inter- net. The explosive growth in user-generated content has been a boon for insurance claims adjusters and fraud investigators. Navigating the social media landscape, however, can be tricky.
When the World Wide Web was established, early websites were mostly electronic versions of documents. They did a good job at broadcasting information to a wide audience but were not effective at brokering communication.
With the advent of Web 2.0 and social media platforms such as Facebook,
YouTube, and Twitter, bidirectional communication became one of the key
reasons to use the Web.
The adoption rate for the use of social media in our daily lives is astounding.
When radio was introduced, it took 38 years to reach 50 million people. Television was faster, reaching 50 million in only 13 years. The iPod reached this milestone in three years. Facebook did it in mere months. Social media technology
is changing the way the world communicates. Half of all mobile Internet traffic
in the U.k. is for Facebook. It should be pointed out that it’s not just kids using
social media sites. The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that 46
percent of all American adults use at least one social networking site.
There are literally hundreds of social media sites on the Web today offering
platforms for sharing all kinds of information, including photos, videos, status
updates, and location check-ins. This has resulted in an explosion of user-generated content. Today, we create as much information in two days as we did from
the beginning of time through 2003.