By James Hickman•
19 November 2012
Well, 2012 is coming to a close, and as we say goodbye to the year that saw the emergence of Pinterest, growth of Instagram, millions more apps, social experiences and YouTube live streaming, alongside watching many other social media platforms continue to go from strength-to-strength, we take a brief foray into 2013 and discuss some of our thoughts on what lies ahead in the tumultuous world of social media.
In the last twelve months, Facebook and Twitter have further consolidated themselves as viable communications tools for today’s organisations. Despite the rumours that Facebook’s personal user numbers are dwindling, it is still ruling the roost as the top egg (sorry!) in the social media world.
As for what to expect from 2013, it’s a difficult task to determine what is going to be ‘the next big thing’ in the world of social media; the digital landscape is already littered with the remains of failed social media start-ups. Pinterest is expected to continue growing and any organisations that begin to include the site as part of their social media strategies and use it properly, are sure to soon see the rewards. Pheed (something of a twitter hybrid) picked up some important celebrity endorsements in early October this year, but that has yet to materialise into meaningful user numbers and awareness, perhaps more proof that without noticeable differentiation, the general public aren’t going to see the need in putting their valuable time into signing for what they will simply see as yet another social network. But who knows… this new site may take off as users are overloaded with meaningful content by previous platforms.
Pictures are worth a thousand words and with the personal and then commercial based success of the likes of Instagram and Flickr, it would not be surprising to see more organisations utilise these photo-sharing sites. Many of these sites are still attempting to shake off their “hipster teenage” image, meaning there is a gap for a more business friendly photo-sharing site; we would be surprised if that gap in the market isn’t filled before 2013 has clocked out.
Mobile technology is hardly new, nor in fact is the concept of ‘on-the-go’ social media, but 2013 is the year when we expect to see the majority of organisations wholeheartedly embrace mobile apps. As a relatively new area of digital and mobile technology, we’ve all but scratched the surface when it comes to mobile apps. Consequently, 2013 will undoubtedly see further innovation; expect more apps to be designed that act as the first port-of-call between businesses and their consumers. These organisation-to-consumer interfaces are going to become increasingly important as mobile devices are primed to overtake PCs as people’s primary internet access device, the increasing need for mobile apps shows no sign of slowing down!
The social world has always been impactful for the music industry, and with the new revamped MySpace set to launch in 2013, it will be interesting to see how they take to the market. Desperately trying to leave their old ‘screaming teenagers’ profile stereotype, they have created a visually appealing, professional and clean platform focusing on quality content, images, videos and music. Early 2013 will be an interesting time to see how this launch takes off… or doesn’t, if people can’t move away from their old preconceptions.
YouTube is not only known for its music streaming and crazy uploads, but now everything from sports events to most recent live-streaming. After over 8 million people signed in to stream the first ever freefall from space live on YouTube, we think we can expect a lot more live video content coming from the channel. YouTube will become more like a TV channel, and open new doors for brands to stream to a large live audience.
Any thoughts and ideas on future social trends are welcome! Thanks.
Header image: io9.com