Study: Mobile and Social Media Users in Emerging Markets Have More Diverse Social Networks
By Sarah Perez
The latest study from Pew Research Center takes a look at the impact mobile technology, including the use of smartphones and social media, is having on the diversity of people’s social network in emerging markets. For the purpose of the study, Pew surveyed mobile users in 11 key markets: Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, South Africa, Kenya, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon. It found that users in these markets had broader social networks than those without smartphones and social media.
In the U.S., we’ve been concerned with social media’s ability to create “filter bubbles” — meaning how we surround ourselves online with people who hold the same opinions as us, which is then reinforced by social media’s engagement-focused algorithms. This leads us to believe, sometimes in error, that what we think is the most correct and most popular view.
According to Pew’s study, emerging markets are experiencing a somewhat different phenomenon.
Photo courtesy of juicyrai.