The future is not what it used to be.
Gawker Media site i09 has compiled this juicy infographic detailing many ways in which the world has changed in the intervening decade since the start of the 21st century.
Most notable among the factoids is the explosion of the world Internet population, increasing from 361 Million in the year 2000, to today’s tally of 1.96 Billion. The proliferation of mobile phones is another noteworthy statistic: There were 719 Million cell phone subscriptions in 2000 and in 2010 that number shot up to 5.3 Billion. Although the technology underpinning the Worldewide Web, and our cellular communications network have existed in some form for decades, both could easily be considered to be in their infancy 10 years ago.
Motorola researcher and executive Martin Cooper placed the first cellular phone call on Apr. 3, 1973 on a device which weighed 2.5 pounds and was nine inches long. It took another 10 years before the first adopters began buying slimmed-down (16 ounce) devices for $3,000 ($7,400 in today’s money) even though they had a talk time of just 35 minutes and required 10 hours to charge.
It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the cellular phone (or tablet) is the primary device for people to access content online. Throughout much of the developing world a cell phone can now be bought for $20, which is clearly fueling the huge uptick in mobile subscriptions.
The numbers should speak for themselves, and it will be interesting to see which media organizations capitalize on these exciting trends, and who spends another decade lamenting audience fragmentation and declining print revenues.