Social media is becoming a force beyond its expected role in communication – as in social transformation that we saw during Arab spring. However, among its more traditional roles, s-commerce, albeit still at a nascent stage, has the potential of transforming into a significant channel for shopping. A study by Barclays shows that young users of social media are increasingly using it for shopping. Zaggora is a case in point, the success of their HotPants, according to them, is to a large extent because of their almost exclusive availability on Facebook. Focused targeting at virtually zero cost has to be a marriage made in heaven.

Even more important now is social media’s new role – that of feeding news channels. A new online news show The Young Turks picks up stories about politics and pop culture that are creating a buzz in the social media but are missing from mainstream cable networks. This news on the web is a precursor to the news media as young viewers turn for Big News to social media rather than to Cable TV.