2010 will probably be best remembered as the year when joining an online community has become a social obligation.

Social networking has become mainstream.

Online communities, Facebook in particular, is no longer just a virtual place where members catch up with friends. These have become virtual stages where people present their lives to a public audience, depending on the privacy settings.

Unlike traditional media like TV and print where only the celebrities and newsmakers got to tell their stories, social networks give previously anonymous people the platform to broadcast their lives and their consumer preferences to the world.

The sudden visibility of millions online has reinforced existing trends and spurred new ones.

The larger and increasingly anonymous the audience becomes; the bigger the need to stand out from the crowd. The act of consumption itself becomes an exercise in self-validation. Consumers buy stuff, do things and visit places that generate maximum interest and comments from a netizen audience.

Get to know the new consumer trends borne from social networking.

The New Trends

Digital Communication.

Members in social networks interact by sharing their life experiences with others, especially through images and videos—every experience should be recorded in order to be shared and celebrated.  The boom in sales and consumer interest in digital cameras, phones and computers points to this as these are not just productivity tools; but are life-recording and sharing devices as well.

Attractive visibility.

Social networks has helped push the health, beauty and fashion industry. Visibility and the self-awareness of people on the network fuel vanity. How one looked like was never important with e-mail and chat, but face value is at the very core of a site that calls itself, well, Facebook.

Looking good to a public that is constantly watching and privately criticizing was once the unique problem of celebrities and politicians. Today, it’s everyone’s concern through one’s profile photos.

Social Interests and Activities.

There is a growing trend of people investing into key social events, extreme sports, adventure travel and exotic dining experiences. This is in order to be the first or among an elite few to experience something NEW. This creates STATUS, which traditionally is brought upon by wealth or influence by now, status is achieved by how many people thinks is interesting or worth of attention. In an online community, status is measured by the size of an individual’s network (or friends).


When private activity becomes public, people behave differently. When private consumption becomes public, consumers buy differently.

People are judged by what they consume and this reality is changing the marketplace. Luxury goods are often the most visible symbols of status and ownership and is still one of the quickest ways to establish one’s identity and desirability on the net.

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Celdran, David. “How Social Networks are Changing Consumption.” 26 December 2010. Accessed 27 December 2010. Link Here.


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