FEATURE14 August 2018

Social spaces

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Features Impact Mobile Technology Trends UK

Communities are being established in the digital world with even stronger emotional connections than people experience in the physical world, as Lightspeed’s Mitch Eggers tells Jane Bainbridge.

Social spaces

Who are your neighbours? Are they the family living next door, the old lady over the road, or the commuters traipsing by your side to the train station every morning?

Or, in a digital world, do we need to rethink our notion of neighbours? Perhaps our relationships are stronger with people not physically close to us, but digitally close to us. 

With the rise of smartphones, Mitch Eggers, chief scientist at Lightspeed Research, began to think about the way people are migrating to digital communities or neighbourhoods, where our innate desire to fit in is just as strong as in the physical world. 

In 2017, eMarketer put the number of smartphone users at almost 2.4bn, an increase of more than 10% on the previous year. By the end of 2018, more than a third of the global population will be using one.

“The developed economies led the charge, but as smartphones became more affordable, along with access and an ...