5 technologies that have changed our lives in 20 years

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You and I are very lucky. Or not. Over the past 20 years, life has changed so much that in comparative proportions it is equal to a good hundred previous years.

Back in 2000, we rewound cassettes with a pencil – because it was faster, and the tape recorder needed to rest. And now they are unhappy that online video slows down to 4K. We offer a retrospective. This article will be useful to anyone who wants to be surprised by technological progress again, and evaluate its impact on life and business.

Social media and digital marketing

Facebook appeared in 2004, but it seems like it has always been around. Initially primitive “book of faces” has turned into the most detailed and convenient catalog for advertisers. In October 2020, the world counted 4.14 billion social media users accessing them every month.

There is an opinion: “If you get something for free, then you are not a client, you are a product.” In May 2019, a European Parliament directive equated the collection of personal data with a form of payment, after which Facebook removed the slogan about free access from the registration page. This is fair: in all major social networks, we are changing privacy and ourselves as consumers of advertising for the convenience of communication and content.

Social networks allow you to personalize your advertising message and show it only to users who are more likely to click and buy. Billboards, banners on websites, commercials on TV and radio – this is cannon fire on sparrows.  Under the gun is not only general data like age and city.

but also such specific ones as a set of interests and even the type of device from which the user accesses the social network. A small bakery in a residential area should not spend money on advertising throughout Moscow. It is unlikely that anyone will go to conditional Yasenevo especially for your croissants.

People come in, ask the price, someone buys, the rest leave. And you hire a person to follow those who just looked at the goods. Then he will “accidentally” meet potential buyers in the subway and show them goods.

find them on Instagram and show ads for the same garden wheelbarrow and barbecue. Cool, but implausible, right? But there is such an expert. This is a Facebook pixel – a “spy” on the site that captures all user actions: transitions from the social network and back, viewing products, adding to the basket.

As it was before

Clumsy advertising was shown to everyone in a row, because of which it was ineffective. But the platforms were selling impressions, emphasizing the number of contacts the audience had with your ad. It was possible to drain budgets for banners and commercials in anticipation of a miracle.

The user who left was almost always equal to the one who did not buy. Cunning webmasters bred entrepreneurs into expensive business card sites and online stores, taking advantage of the technical illiteracy of customers. Now you can often do without a separate store, selling on social networks or on marketplaces.

Marketplaces and delivery

If an online store can be compared to a stand-alone pavilion, then marketplaces are large markets near railway stations. Here you can also rent a point and sell. To do this is much faster than creating your own online store: register, pay, post photos and product descriptions. The site will most often lead the audience itself: it is interested in having a lot of sellers and buyers here.

It was not organized in his company only by the lazy: restaurants open “dark kitchens”, retailers “dark shops” – they work exclusively for delivery. Quarantine has also given rise to the so-called contactless delivery: you can ask the courier to leave the parcel near the door and then pick it up yourself. Hundreds of couriers in colorful jackets scurry around the city, delivering food from restaurants and bars.

As it was before

Measured behind a curtain on a cardboard. They searched for the right thing, combing the rows and remembering the prices. It is still important for many to see the thing offline and bargain – this is normal. But given the growth in assortment and consumption, without marketplaces and home delivery services.

it would be difficult right now. Many online storefronts have a point in the real world, but it is much more convenient for customers to find, compare and order from home.

The iPhone itself has changed communications, entertainment, and overall user experience. But most importantly, it became the locomotive of progress. There are already phones with better cameras and more storage, but for the decade since 2007, the iPhone has set the pace for the industry. It was there that a full-fledged geolocation using a GPS module, a touch screen, SMS chains for each contact and an accelerometer first appeared.

In 2008, the Apple Store appears with the first applications. Since then, Apple’s software store has grown into millions of programs, games, and utilities. These are thousands of jobs and billions of dollars earned by software developers. And on the Play Market for android, the turnover is even greater!

Approximately 3.5 billion people have a smartphone, half of them use the gadget for shopping on the Internet (ordering and paying), almost all communicate in instant messengers. Total mobile commerce sales in 2020 rose to $2.92 trillion, and overall mobile traffic has long surpassed desktop traffic. Against the backdrop of such trends, companies that do not optimize their sites for mobile gadgets (including voice search) and do not work with buyers in instant messengers find themselves lagging behind.

As it was before

No way. Although the term “smartphone” was coined in 2000, the first truly smart phone was the iPhone. If it weren’t for the bar set by Apple, folding PDAs with a keyboard and a stylus might still be in use. And we would also buy more chewing gum in the checkout area: after the release of the iPhone, chewing gum sales fell by 15%, because people began to look at the screen, and not around.