5 Ways Smartphones Transformed Communications


More than a decade after the first smartphone was introduced to the world, the devices have become ingrained in our everyday lives and made us more connected than ever. They have changed the way we receive and consume breaking news, impact our social interactions and alter the way we respond to issues. Smartphones have also transformed how we communicate, and have become an invaluable tool for our clients.

Even though Blue Engine Message & Media predates the meteoric rise of smartphones, we have learned to grow with them and fully embrace the opportunities they bring to our clients and the communications industry. Here are five ways smartphones have transformed communications:

1.Audience Reach. According to Pew Research, about three-quarters of adults say they own a smartphone and Americans are relying on them to access the internet more than desktops. This means companies, coalitions, nonprofits and influencers have the opportunity to market, influence and reach target audiences anytime, anywhere.

2.Issue Advocacy. Smartphones have helped the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. These mobile-first platforms have sparked revolutions and made it easier for individuals to connect with one another, take a political stand, sign a petition, attend an event or add their voice to a growing movement.

Smartphones also changed the way organizations, companies and individuals interject themselves into social media’s sphere of influence and even discuss sensitive topics.

3.Connectivity. We are now also able to capture content and share – or broadcast – it in real-time. Previously, if we, or a client, wanted to broadcast an event or jump into a debate, we needed lots of time, complicated equipment and usually, the ability to capture the attention of the traditional media. Now, everyone has a handheld device that can stream video of events and/or help organizations and companies reach their audiences.And, with improved camera and audio capabilities, broadcasting or recording these key moments in high resolution is easier than ever.

Of course, the convenience of constant connectivity also comes with a price. It contributes to the always-on mindset called “Phantom Vibration Syndrome,” and furthers audience segmentation.

4.Push Notifications. Our colleague wrote an Insight last year on the human attention span falling to just eight seconds and how people are overwhelmed with the amount of news and content available. Push notifications have transformed the way companies and news organizations disseminate breaking news and how we consume news and understand key issues. Through these quick notifications, we’re able to quickly sort through the clutter, monitor news and anticipate potential threats or keys moments for our clients.

5.Content and Message Consumption. Larger, brighter computer screens have given way to smaller, darker screens. This trend forces us to be conscious of how a message is designed and formatted on mobile platforms for consumption by an increasingly mobile audience. This impacts everything from web design to social media content.

The world looks much different now than a decade ago because of smartphones. They are ubiquitous and driving constant innovation. Smartphones continue to reinvent news, multimedia and how we communicate. Smart watches are gaining popularity, tablets are replacing laptops. Are glasses next? The one thing we know for sure is that the next great innovation will impact how we communicate, connect and how we help our clients reach their audiences.


Written by Jayce Genco, a Blue Engine fall 2017 and winter 2018 fellow.