A new generation called TGiF has arrived. With the familiar abbreviation, one might easily be reminded of the famous family restaurant TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday). However, this acronym has a different meaning. Twitter, Google, i-Phone and Facebook are the representing words for TGiF. These four services are rapidly changing the lifestyles around the world, with this transition also being observed in Korea. People using Cyworld, a Korean social network service operated by SK Communications are converting to an international social networking Web site, Facebook. Google is now favorable as much as the far most popular Korean search portal Naver to Koreans. While the latest craze for the i-Phone has even made people in their late 50s show off their i-Phone applications and functions. Finally, Twitter is also becoming so familiar in Korea that some business cards now feature Twitter IDs.
Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service which provides a simple and light way to communicate or ‘tweet’ contents of up to 140 characters. In addition, as the largest international social network in the world, Facebook is most widely known for its customizable homepage and features such as News Feed. This service constantly updates ones’ listed friends’ activities, making it easier to manage personal relationships.
Twitter and Facebook can be viewed as a form of online history book as they store every moment of a users’ life. Enabling quick and easy responses to opinions, pictures, news or other important events, both social networking services are becoming popular media for delivering breaking news and as such are threatening more traditional forms of news media. Google is evolving into a “knowledge bank,” containing all the knowledge that people have produced so far. Google also provides a variety of services, including e-mails, library books and even one’s documents, pictures and schedule in addition to its fundamental role as a search portal. The i-Phone, the undisputed leader of the smartphone industry, is creating a world where the Internet can be used whenever and wherever. Moreover, the i-Phone is lighter and smaller than a laptop but still features many of the same services. Employees no longer need to work in an office due to the mobile office service provided by smartphones and which enables them to carry out all the tasks from anywhere. With the mobile office, work can be conducted while on the move, making it much more efficient than sitting in front of a computer.
These four services are intimately connected to each other and continue to compete and expand their influences. For example, uploading a video image in Facebook using an i-Phone is combining the two strengths of speediness and practicality. These powerful linked services will help social networking evolve into an instant response social networking system.