Facebook as a research tool: Documenting the evolution of mobile phone applications since 2011 Open Access Deposited

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Date Uploaded: 11/30/2017
Date Modified: 10/04/2018

In this project, two key elements of the development of technology, Facebook, a social media tool, and mobile phones, a portable communication/connectivity tool is brought together in an experiment that was started in 2009 as pilot and full scale since 2011 which continues to date. The objective of this research is document in real-time, how actual and possible uses of mobile phones, which has transcended from the rubber keypad versions to the smartphones of today, is extending beyond its first intentions. The idea came about on reading that people residing abroad bypass stringent laws, national and international, to transfer money to their homes in Africa through the purchase of prepaid cards and offering the ‘pre-paid’ time as ‘money equivalent’ to traders back home who then deliver real money to people in Africa. Today, there are official versions of this such as ‘Sente’ in that continent. With news and clippings appearing across the internet, through various means such as blogs, websites, newssites, etc., the author realised that all the information, news and bits about the emergence of new uses of mobile phones could be documented through a simple Facebook page. Titled ‘Unique Uses of the Mobile Phones’ the author has been collating information and news about the various ways and means by which smart phones have gone beyond their first incarnation as mobile or cell phones. As an on-going project, the author intends to harvest the data to present the findings in research papers and articles.

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Identifier: doi:10.7945/C2N68C

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