Social media such as Facebook and Twitter continues to script new modes of communication, radically changing the way we live and work.
Jeff Hancock, professor of communication at Cornell university, says: "The billion-user-mark for Facebook provides yet another piece of evidence that we now live in a digitally networked world that is fundamentally different from how we left the last century only 12 years ago."
"For instance, Elvis had a billion people watch his Hawaii show, but we wouldn't know that for weeks afterwards because it took time to compile the ratings," adds Hancock.
"Now, we know within seconds. Now, our behaviours and attitudes leave traces that can be observed, computed and reproduced almost instantaneously," says Hancock, according to a Cornell statement.
"Facebook and similar services now affect almost all facets of human life, from how we talk to, or ignore, one another, to how we find love and end relationships, and even the nature of the birth announcement or what to do with our digital remains after death. It's an exciting time to be studying human behaviour," adds Hancock.
"On Twitter's rise, I think that what we are seeing isn't really that ludicrous, but really a new way of seeing how influential some people can be," concludes Hancock.