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Megachange: The World in 2050 by John Andrews, Daniel Franklin

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4 Friends indeed

Martin Giles

Always connected and always online: welcome to the social supercloud

THE WORLD IS IN THE MIDDLE of an unprecedented collective experiment. By the time you read this, Facebook may well have become the first online social network to boast a billion members – which, were it a nation, would make it the third most populous on Earth after China and India. Of course, there is no guarantee that Facebook, which at the time of writing claims some 800m active users (see Figure 4.1), will get to the billion-member mark. But its success has already shown how the notion of friendship in the physical world can transfer successfully to a virtual one. And we are still in the early days of this social revolution in cyberspace – one ...

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