November 29, 2011
As social media continues to evolve (see: Facebook’s unveiling of Timeline profiles on Thursday), it’s become more challenging to hazard a guess what the future holds. For this post, several ponies were tasked with predicting what’s in store for social media in 2012, and while responses were all over the map, there was one prevailing theme: Social media will continue to grow and matter.
Isn’t that something? With each passing year, social media seems to prove its staying power with new networks, functions and utility, and 2012 figures to be no different. In fact, the ponies who were polled seem to believe 2012 is the year social media will really grow up and grow out, as if it’s graduated and eagerly awaits joining the work force.
Go to work, social media. We’re expecting big things from you.
Tumblr Takes Off
George Fiddler: I love Tumblr, especially the random, uber-specific tumblogs such as Kim Jon-Il Looking At Things. Although the quirky publishing platform was adopted by credible news organizations such as Newsweek and The New Yorker in 2011, it is still very much an underground entity. I think that could change in 2012, thanks in large part to its content curation function that looks to be embraced by Obama’s camp, who recently launched a new blog to tell campaign stories during his 2012 re-election bid.
Facebook Sells Page Analytics
Alex Weaver: It wouldn’t be a 2012 social media prediction without throwing Facebook into the mix and I predict that the network will roll out a paid analytics service early in 2012. Recently, Facebook released an updated Pages Insights with new tools including reach, people talking about “this” and check-ins. However, the new tools only allow for you to pull data from 89 days prior – unlike the old Facebook Insights that allowed you to seemingly go back to the launch of the page. (The old Insights tools are currently available here, but will be deleted on February 15, 2012.) Mr. Zuckerberg doesn’t do things for kicks and giggles – there is a method behind this madness and a market for people who want analytics for their Facebook page beyond 89 days. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook unveils a paid analytics service – for those who would like extended information – and the free analytics service for those who are fine with the shortened timeframe.
The Rise of the Indie Capitalism Social Platforms
Jen Kreilich: I predict the continued success and emergence of “indie capitalism” social platforms. Indie capitalism is a buzz word I’ve been seeing more and more of lately (most recently from Bruce Nussbaum in a Fastcodesign.com post http://tinyurl.com/6n38n6b). With social funding platforms like Kickstarter (which announced in October that more than 1mm people have donated $100 million to help fund various projects) and Pledgemusic http://www.pledgemusic.com/ (which helps artists and bands design a specifically tailored fundraising campaign to raise money for their next release), capitalism will continue to become a more local, more social, and more meaningful endeavor.
Second-screen TV Viewership Explodes
Andrew Miller: According to a Yahoo! survey released in January 2011, “86% of mobile Internet users (and 92% of 13-24s) are using their mobile devices simultaneously with TV.” And that was almost a year ago! In 2012, studios will create entire second-screen divisions dedicated to creating opportunities for viewers to interact with the shows they’re watching through Facebook, Twitter and GetGlue. Think exclusive content. Think commentary. Think trivia. Shows like Glee and The Voice have proven second-screen viewers aren’t distracted. In fact, they’re the most engaged viewers of all.
Foursquare Gets Loyal With Companies
Cydney Wuerffel: I predict that foursquare is going to have a banner year. In the wake of a wildly popular test run with Amex (read about it here and here), I believe that more and more companies will start using foursquare to run loyalty programs. I don’t think that any companies will make the jump to having a long-term loyalty program on foursquare, but see it as being more of a limited time only, high value promotion to get customers in the door. Think national holidays, birthdays, etc. – when customers are already planning on spending money, they just need to decide where.
Social Media (Finally) Kills RSS
Mike Keliher: I predict – hope, rather – we’ll see one of the social media giants get a clue and kill Google Reader. Don’t get me wrong: I love RSS technology, and Google Reader is incredibly useful. I happily use it every day, and I’d love to use it never again. I already have Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and none of those – particularly Google+ – has any excuse for not replacing Google Reader. Adding an RSS feed from whatever source I choose should be as easy as friending/following/circling a person I’ve just met. I want one place to read whatever I want to read.
No More Special Treatment
Amanda Mark: My hope for social media in 2012 is that marketing peeps will quit putting it in a bubble. That means the death of titles such as “social media rock star” and “social media ninja,” but I swear it’d be worth it. Facebook users would be the third largest country in the world (somebody had to throw that stat out) so we need to lose this idea that only a few people have the skill set to work in this murky world. Good writing, common sense and a sniff test (wait, do I find this worthy?) are needed, not black belts or wizardry. Maybe this began to happen in 2011 — hey, my mom manages her own Facebook brand page, but it feels like marketers (not the rest of the free world) cling to this identity of “social media expert.”
Facebook, Twitter. And Twitter. But Don’t Forget Facebook.
Bob Ingrassia: I think Facebook and Twitter, of course. But Google+ and Tumblr. Then again, LinkedIn. Still, you’ve got to YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo. I’d say Reddit, Digg and even Delicious. And let’s Spotify, Mog and Ping. Then FourSquare, Yelp and Groupon. But also WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and Xanga. So, too, you would Hootsuite, Seesmic, TweeDeck, Threadsy and even NetVibes. Flipboard. And finally, MySpace (ha, ha).