Five social media trends to look out for in 2010
We’ve come a long way since those insider days of Friendster. In 2009, social media blew up bigger than a a family at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Exponentially so. According to Nielson(The TV ratings people, among other things.) Twitter alone grew 1,382% since February, enrolling 7 million unique users along the way. Just about everyone we know spent 70% of their work day on a little website called Facebook this year as well. So what’s gonna happen in 2010? Let’s take a look into our crystal ball and forecast the five social media trends to look out for in the coming year.
1. Social media becomes, well, less social – Let’s run a scenario by you guys. Someone you used to know finds you on Facebook. You accept their friendship. They post. And they post. And they post. They post so many items it begins to give you a headache. So you do what anyone in your position would do, you tell the system to ignore their posts. It’s better than flat out erasing them, right? Well this is happening all over the social media landscape. The more people that get on the social media bandwagon, the more noise. People are beginning to reject the inclusive nature of old-school social media in favor of a more niche attitude. Everyone is looking to filter out the clutter, and look to the big social media sites to think of new ways to do that this year.
2. Corporations get involved in a big way – This is already happening but consider it a done deal that it will blow up in a big way this year. For example, Best Buy employs hundreds of employees just to sit on Twitter and answer questions that are thrown their way. Of course, it has to be done on the cheap. But who knows, maybe “Professional Twitterer” will soon be an actual job description instead of what people call Ashton Kutcher behind his back.
3. Mobile devices continue their focus – With over 70% of workplaces starting to ban social media sites, and with sales of smart phones increasing exponentially, it only makes sense that mobile devices will be the go-to gadgets for social media addicts. The big transformation of 2010 could be the standard workplace cigarette break turning into a social media break. Look for smart phone companies to capitalize on this and offer bigger and better functionality. Yes! Working blows anyways.
4. E-mail continues to lose ground – As more and more people begin relying on social media sites to keep in touch with friends and family, e-mail continues to lose ground as the go-to Internet means of communication. It will always have a foothold in the business world, but in the social world, e-mail is set to go the way of the dodo. Look to this trend to continue throughout the year as people discover that sharing thoughts on Facebook and similar sites is simply more fun than using e-mail.
5. The business of social media becomes bigger – Relatively new networks such as Foursquare bring a game-like quality to their social media. Participants are are given an incentive to keep on playing and to keep on participating. The reason? To keep eyes on the page of course. The site constantly reminds you that your friends are one step away from stealing your throne and winning the game. Look towards popular Facebook applications like “Mafia Wars” for similar philosophies. Also look for these games start to charging consumers mini-transactions to buy in-game goods and services. The business end of social media is about to catch up with the, um, free end.
That’s about it. What do you think? What social media trends do are going to take the world by storm in the coming year? Think long and hard, and in the meantime, better check your Facebook. You never know if you missed something.
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