Happy New Year, everyone. You are officially reading Robertson and Markowitz’s first blog post of the new decade. After a restful break, we are back in full force at R&M and have some exciting projects planned for 2010. To start the new year off right, I’d like to continue where we left off. In the last post I discussed the impact of social media in the past decade. I think it’s only appropriate then to talk about what the social media landscape will look like in the future. There have been countless articles written about this and I’m going to try and hit what I feel are the most exciting highlights in bullet points. Enjoy.
- Social media is no longer social media. In other words, it will no longer be referred to as its own entity because you will not be able to separate it from your normal online experience. Coming into last year, there were still questions about the longevity of these sites. With Facebook adding 1.5 million new members per day and Twitter jumping from 6 million users to 24 million users in just 10 months, those questions were abruptly answered in 2009 and it became clear that social media is here to stay. This realization will eventually result in a full-scale integration with other sites, which is technically referred to as Application Programming Interface, or API. Some sites already let you do this. For example, Google Maps allows you to use their services from sites other than Google. I can be on a company’s corporate website, go to their store locater, find a store in my area, and then use Google Maps application to find that specific store without having to leave the site. Look for all sites, including social media sites, to do the same.
- Enterprises will tailor their products around social media. You had to see this one coming. Look for computer giants like Dell and IBM to start offering products that cater to your social networking needs.
- Video will be the primary source of communication. I wrote that YouTube made the biggest impact of any social media tool this decade. The next few years will only further my point. Video will become the main tool for companies to communicate their messages to their audience whether through live streaming, video blogging or YouTube.
- Location matters. Just as a GPS device locates your exact location, social media sites will do the same. Twitter is already in the works on a mobile device application called Twitter360 that will feed you relevant information depending on your location and connect you to people who are nearby. Talk about giving a whole new meaning to the Twitter term “follow.”
- Mobile Technology rules. With AT&T and Verizon battling it out for smart phone supremacy, mobile technology will only become faster, more popular and more accessible.
- Internal social media platforms. That’s right. Big brands are already experimenting with their own internal online platforms to better communicate with their employees.
- Search engine specialization. We’ve already seen the emergence of sites like Bing, which aim to filter your searches. The future will see these search engines become even more specialized. Google, for example, might become Google Cars, a search engine dedicated solely to the topic of cars. I am especially looking forward to this.
There’s no doubt that the next decade and even 2010 has a lot in store for us technologically. Sit back and enjoy the ride.