Media convergence is experienced in more ways than one. It’s not just the fact that you can pick up your iPhone and watch movies, read the news, check social media and listen to music. Convergence is starting to take shape within platforms as well. As with all technological advances there advantages and disadvantages so I will briefly go through these as well.
Media convergence is still mass media converging to a single outlet or space, however the interpretation of that is slightly different. Often it would be said that an iPhone is the best way to show convergence. There are apps for music, news, social media, videos and more all available on the one device.
The interpretation I have of media convergence goes off the idea that within a certain medium, another can be seen. A great example of this is Tumblr, Twitter or Reddit. Tumblr is a blogging social media platform. There are often screenshots in posts on Tumblr that originate from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. Twitter does the same and the enabling of photos is what gives this branch of convergence its edge. Reddit shows different tabs for different subjects. There is a news tab, with articles from sites like guardian.com, bbc.co.uk and others. Reddit also has other tabs that have a lot of information from other sites and platforms including music, movies, social media, videos and more.
The advantages to media convergence are quite simple and straightforward. It allows the consumer to experience a range of media and information from the one space. Whether it is an iPhone, computer, or just a room that happens to have a few different types of media, it allows access to more data much quicker. A disadvantage to media convergence is seen in the way it allows misinformation to spread so quickly. An article could be posted with inaccurate information, and an hour later it could be spread across the internet and social media.
Media convergence isn’t just the communication between mass media companies but also the intertwining of platforms within each other and the way the media is converging in specific channels. Both advantages and disadvantages are relevant however this advance in technology is outweighing the negatives in my opinion.
Flew, Terry 2016, media convergence, Encyclopaedia Britcannica, reviewed 2 April 2016, http://www.britannica.com/topic/media-convergence
Media Convergence Theory 2014, Media Development Authority Singapore, reviewed 2 April 2016, http://www.mda.gov.sg/RegulationsAndLicensing/Consultation/Pages/MediaConvergenceReview.aspx