Pushing Innovation With Social Networks
There was a time when storage space was a precious commodity. A few videos and photographs and the system would be gasping for breath in old PCs’ limited storage space. 10 Years ago, today’s top social networking sites would have broken down under the burden of the heavily visual traffic they see today. Increased storage space and internet speeds are not the only cause of this shift in capability, however. Cloud computing plays a large part in pushing social networks to innovate and improve (Infographic).
What Exactly is the Cloud?
Some argue that “the cloud” is an evocative term to describe the internet itself. Originally every service (websites, web apps, etc.) had its own servers and storage space. The implications of this were that every time they had to retrieve data from that central location when someone requested it. Nowadays, shared internet real estate is utilized as a way to streamline data storage from the heavily server-dominated past. This is because it is much faster to retrieve something from a physically closer shared space instead of getting it from a faraway server at the other end of the world. Almost every major commercial website is using this idea to an extent.
How Social Media Uses Cloud?
Social media sites have large number of user scattered across the globe. This makes them ideal candidates for cloud adaptation. Many have been quick to adapt this technology.
Social networks help boost internet usability by storing heavy multimedia content in cloud storage systems. Videos and photographs are the most popular content on social media, which essentially use up the maximum space allotted to them. They have the capacity to slow down entire websites with their sheer weight. Cloud computing vendors such as Salesforce and Amazon nowadays provide varied services including from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). As they deliver these things through cloud servers, clients can use the flexibility and scalability of the system without purchasing standalone software or hardware.
Apart from data storage, the social networks are now also using clouds for various other tasks. For example, this can be ideal for big data analytics. One of the benefits of using cloud systems is that users can access vast amount of structured and even non-structured data easily. You must have noticed the much-improved analytics provided by sites like Facebook, especially for its business users.
Another way cloud computing becomes helpful is by reducing the cost of data backup and recovery in case of a disaster. If the data is only stored in one central location, it becomes much riskier. If something happens there, it is almost impossible to recover the data. But through cloud they remain accessible through shared resources across the globe. This is especially useful for social networks as the store personal data of its users and so cannot afford to lose even one bit of it no matter how trivial they are.
Overall, it can be said that cloud computing has several usages, and some of them are still being discovered. For instance, in the near future, personal secure clouds are likely to gain ground. New age social networks and messaging apps such as Snapchat thrive on privacy and they will eventually utilize such resources to offer a more secure and faster service to users. It may take a couple of years more before we see widespread adoption of such ideas but make no mistake: cloud is a reality now and will remain the most prominent technological breakthrough that is expected to transform the way business is done.
By Owen Andrew