In my personal opinion, social media is much more than a fad. Everything is run through social media nowadays and it shows no signs of slowing down. Think about how it has evolved over the course of just a few years, when Twitter first started out it was filled with meaningless tweets such as "eating a banana, live is good" or "it's sunny out today". If you look at Twitter now, it's filled with celebrities interacting with fans, breaking news is featured the second it happens through millions of Twitter accounts, more and more people are turning to Twitter as a replacement for their morning papers.
Social media has become a prime place for advertisements and cash flow as well. Take Youtube for example, you won't find may videos without ad placements this is due to the Google Adsense program. All you need is a thousand or so views, and you can sign up with Google Adsense which in turn will place ads on your videos, now anyone can make money! Have you ever seen the videos of popular Youtube personalities such as the Shaytards, Sxephil, and Ray William Johnson? They are raking in big money from their Youtube videos alone, not only that but it has also opened up many different job opportunities for them. If you pay close attention, they will even advertise various products that they use in their videos, don't let them fool you, they are usually paid to do this!
Social media will never slow down, it will continue to evolve and eventually I believe it may just take over television as a preferred option for people to get their news, or watch their favourite shows. As long as celebrities keep using social networks such as Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Youtube to interact with fans, these sites will continue to grow. As much as I hate to use him as an example, take Justin Bieber. One retweet from him and a video will gain a 500,000 views, how is this possible you ask? Well just ask his millions of "beliebers" They are so loyal to the singer, that anything video link he retweets they will watch. This is all it takes for someone to become popular on Youtube or for a video to go viral, just one click of the button.
So in conclusion, do I believe social media is a fad, or the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution? Without a doubt I believe it's the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution, there is no question in my mind.