Social media has already been firmly established as the new paradigm of electronic communications, and in 2012 it is expected to become even more prevalent thanks to the rapid development of mobile applications which will allow us to constantly receive update in real-time, wherever we may be. Online social networking is moving towards an “always-on” model; an efficient way to be tied-in to the people and organization that matter most in our lives.

Smarpthones are the new de rigueur electronic platforms for receiving social media updates. Twitter, the leading short messaging and micro-blogging social network, is constantly being redesigned to improve user experience on mobile devices such as an Android phone or Apple's iPhone. Other popular online social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ are also experimenting with different new features for their mobile apps that take full advantage of the improved functionality of smart handheld devices.

Both Apple and Google are engaged in a veritable arms race for mobile operating software (OS) dominance. Apple's iOS 5 and Google's Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich Android recent upgrades were focused to accommodate the advanced multitasking capabilities of smartphones and tablet computers. Both mobile OS platforms are centered on the idea of social media being keenly integrated in users' lives. The ability to receive and create social media updates is taking center stage in the new mobile OS offerings and their third-party apps. Thanks to the vastly improved hardware features in video, audio and connectivity, users of the next-generation mobile devices are poised to become the most prolific group in terms of contributing social media content.

Internet and software giant Microsoft is also actively engaged in transforming its ubiquitous Windows OS into a premium platform for providing a rich social media experience. The upcoming Nokia Lumia lineup of Windows-powered smartphones promises to be a solid contender in mobile social networking. Microsoft's social media strategy is not limited to its partnership with Nokia. The company's next iteration of its flagship OS, Windows 8, is being developed with a strong social media and cross-platform functionality in mind.

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