Nine hundred and one million active users at the end of March 2012 alone. What can be so significant that it draws that amount of people together in one “place,” so to speak?
You can check these numbers for yourself .
When that many users are interacting, posting, picture taking, chatting and game playing at any given moment around the world, "big data" is collected.
Big data is the buzzword for large amounts of data that are collected and used for analysis. Data can be collected from a variety of sources, such as GPS devices and smart phones. Every single time someone snaps a photo with their latest smart phone and uploads it onto a social media sight, a bit of data is produced. When you multiply that bit of data by the 901 million active users, you essentially have big data.
There are challenges that IT companies are faced with in dealing with big data. The three Vs are volume, velocity and variety. As pointed out with Facebook, the sheer volume of people using the social media site makes storage and speed a concern on any server, especially with the amount of changes that have been made to the user interface. With the amount of data growing all the time, velocity poses its own problems with analysis and storage, and with the smart phones, photo images, video and GPS all being used, the variety of the data being processed is a challenge as well.
An overload of data? Daunting? Sure, but also immensely useful.
In checking out Sentiment Analysis, we can see the marketing use in big data is amazing. It poses its own challenges, as far as determining how much and on what media to market the most. The people have a new, instant, and widespread way to make their voices heard about what they want. By wading their way through the big data, marketing firms are able to get their messages out faster and easier by using the buzz of social media. Or a marketing department can track the impact of a campaign by watching the reaction in social media.
With social media sites becoming the norm in today's society, big data is not going away. Facebook has seen increasingly more competitive sites like tumblr and Twitter gaining foothold on what was once their domain.
The question is, who is using the big data more effectively for their use?