We are near the end of a very turbulent 2011, with various startups taking center stage. The significant shift in the technology development, along with the constant rise of social networks will influence the world in 2012 in many ways, but here are mine predictions.
- Circles/lists/subscribers – there was nothing better happening to users in 2011 than the introduction of Google+ and its circles. From the beginning it gave its users easy way to separate their various friends and acquaintances in circles and share content with the appropriate circles. Google+ actually was one of the reasons why Facebook had to introduce similar options – establishing better sharing options with lists. In 2012 I believe that the various types of circles/lists/groups/followers and etc will be further developed and allow users to better control their sharing experience.
- Content curation and social reading – we are bombarded with so much information that navigation through the exabytes of content becomes critical. Content curation sites facilitate users to gather and sort information from multiple websites and to share it with other readers.
Content curation services based on a subject of interest will become more important then ever in 2012 especially with the social reading and sharing options. Services like Paper.li, Google Currents, Pulse, FLUD and others are gaining track and many more will allow similar services.
- 24/7 access – thanks to technology evolution and Moore’s law we have almost ubiquitous storage at our disposal. We used to save all our digital files on local machines, ad now we are depending more and more on the cloud services to store our information so we can access it from every device, anytime and anywhere in the world. This trend will continue to evolve through 2012 offering more services like iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google, Dropbox, to users.
- Subscription model – we are used to buy music, video, games, books, articles, but new technologies give us access to huge libraries of content – Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu and more. Recently Amazon introduced its improved Prime services for library book lending for its Prime subscribers. The different services use various business models – freemium with some advertising, subscription levels and others. In 2012 those services will become even more used, especially if the right social sharing services are provided for the users.
- The personal assistant- after the introduction of Siri, people created many articles, videos and conversation about the service. Many companies provide similar offerings, especially for the Android devices – like Speaktoit. The expectation is that the personal assistant will take even more important role on the headsets, and maybe even transfer to other devices – like tablets, and maybe even notebooks. The personal assistant is closely related with the increasing importance of location based search and it could be a great contender to the Google search algorithm.
- Analytics – in 2012 we will see more advanced analytics tools for measuring social influence, social media presence and measuring success of advertising and media campaigns.
- Apps are everywhere – the trend for increased using of app will continue in 2012 with more apps coming to iOS and android devices. As Nicholas Carr wrote in his article “2012 will bring the appification of media” – “Today, as a result of cloud computing and other advances, applications look more and more like media products. They’re ad-supported, subscribed to, continually updated, and the content they incorporate is often as important as the functions they provide.”
These are some of the trends we at SFK Publishing expect for 2012. What do you think – do you agree, would you add or remove a trend? Share your thoughts about social networks and what will they offer us in 2012.