Hey there. Welcome to Tiny Arm Media. My name is Tricia, and I’m a graduate student at West Virginia University pursuing my Masters in Integrated Communications. This blog is an opportunity for me to share my insights from the Emerging Media class that I am currently enrolled in. I’d like to spend a little bit of time now talking about what emerging media is, why it matters, and just how prevalent it is in our world today.

What is “emerging media”?

In truth, emerging media is the term for whatever new or innovative form of media is fresh on the market! That means that it’s an ever-changing term, as just like a vehicle depreciates the minute that you drive it off the lot, whatever media is emerging today could be outdated and obsolete tomorrow. Today, we can pin down the latest emerging media tools as things like mobile messaging apps (Kik, Snapchat, Viber, WhatsApp), blogs, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and others.

Why does it matter?

These emerging media tools are becoming some of the fastest, easiest ways to meet certain market segments. According to a Pew Research Center study, “36% of smartphone owners report using messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage, and 17% use apps that automatically delete sent messages such as Snapchat or Wickr.” In addition, “72% of online adults are Facebook users, amounting to 62% of all American adults,” while “59% of Instagram users, 27% of Pinterest users and 22% of LinkedIn users visit these platforms daily.” The numbers speak for themselves! If you want to reach some of these marketing segments, you need to be where they already are.

And it truly is everywhere. Census studies have shown that Internet use and smartphone use are increasing constantly. In a press release from the U.S. Census Bureau, researcher Thom File said, “Going online is no longer a simple yes or no proposition. Different groups of people are accessing the Internet in very different ways, and these statistics give us a better understanding of how and where those connections are taking place.” Because the Internet is at the center of these emerging media tools, the insight gained from these types of studies can help marketers best learn how to leverage these tools to reach the markets that they’re looking for.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be exploring more specific emerging media trends and tools. I hope to examine how they are affecting both for-profit and non-profit organizations, as well as how we can try to predict and understand the latest trends before they become over-saturated. I look forward to your comments and feedback!