8 Ways Social Media Will Evolve in the Future
In today's post, you'll learn of 8 ways social media might evolve over the next 12 months.
Bitcoin. Blockchain. Privacy concerns. Net neutrality...
It's all pointing to an evolution of the internet as we know it. As digital professionals, it's important to stay aware of the various shift happening within the industry.
“Social media has really gotten away from us. It’s gotten to the point where we work for it, not the other way around. With social media as it’s been, the users are the product, which has caused some real rifts and problems between loved ones. It’s just not connecting us the way it was supposed to.”
-- Jeanne Lewis, CEO of Capsure
Lewis certainly isn't the only one with concerns. The way that we interact online is changing right before our eyes, and it's important to understand how and why. In today's post, you'll learn of 11 ways social media might evolve over the next 12 months.
1. A focus on relationships
With the rise of social media marketing, much of social media itself has veered away from its purpose. In the beginning, social networks were about forming and maintaining your relationships. But today it serves as more of a broadcasting platform.
This is good news for Facebook, who makes money off of the advertising costs. However, it's not the greatest experience for the users themselves.
That's why in the coming 12 months, it's possible that social media begins to shift back to its beginnings. To focus on connection. To focus on authenticity. To be a place where people can share ideas and thoughts and experiences with one another.
Not just a place for advertisement.
2. Diversity of personal posts
We've seen it with Snapchat. And subsequently on Instagram and Facebook and other social media networks. There's a diversification of the types of media that we share with one another.
That's not stopping anytime soon.
To this point, videos, text and pictures were all you could post... But keep an eye out for new types of update options. From functionality like sending one another money or Bitcoin... To an immersive AR VR experience within the platform itself… To functionality that increases our ability to multitask, like voice.
Voice, in particular, is an interesting field to watch. Leaders in the entrepreneurial community, like Gary Vaynerchuk, have been emphasizing the growth of this medium. Things like the Anchor App, podcasting, and the success of Spotify points to this reality.
3. Users will pay for peace
It'll be interesting to see how the average user transforms their digital experience in the wave of popularity we see from Bitcoin. People care about their privacy. It's been a touchy subject the past several years, with hackings and breeches feeding the headlines.
In the New Year, we might see you search platforms that allow you to pay a price for privacy. A premium, as you will. No more free social media, but now a secure social media.
4. Different types of groups
We've always had groups for the people within our ecosystem. Not in a way to segregate segregate people a negative fashion, but with an understanding that certain topics were appropriate for certain people and situations.
In the coming months, it's likely that you'll see new ways for you to group your community inappropriate categories. As our digital lives merge, it's becoming more and more difficult to keep our personal and professional lives separate. But more than that, it's becoming important that we say the right things around the right people.
Yes, this means that you can hide your grandma from progressive beliefs. Maybe have the ability to put her in a non-political group, if you have different political views.
This is so we can see a safer environment to speak our mind. And a safer way to consume content in a way that doesn't constantly barrage us with conflict.
It's about enabling users to create context for their content.
5. Increased focus on privacy
To build on the previous statements regarding privacy, expect to see many new developments in this area. People want to use a network they can trust with their personal information. This is the place where we update regarding the experiences and feelings in our lives.
People want the safe feeling of a locked diary beneath the bed, not a newsstand.
6. Less gamification
Facebook's primary purpose is to capture your attention.
In the beginning, this revolved a lot around providing serotonin hits in exchange for gamification on the side. You played games, you stayed on the site. They had your attention
But it's a lot harder for Facebook to monetize your gameplay. It's much more profitable for them to capitalize on your attention in new ways. Expect less game development on Facebook and other social networks this year, and a higher focus on video consumption.
7. Legacy building
What you post on the Internet matters. And this is becoming more and more apparent as the years pass by. Professionals noticed it first, and have strived to keep their personal and professional digital identity separate.
But that's not working anymore. Our lines are merging together in the digital world, and that means branding. Not just for the professionals, but for everyone.
Everything that we write online stays online.
Everyone, from the investment banker to your grandmother will care about what their Internet activity says about their legacy. And it does, in fact, say something.
8. Open to experimentation
The social media giants move slow. That's why they have to acquire smaller platforms.
Wild startups innovate and experiment, while these leaders are frustratingly clumsy and hesitant to change. What's abundantly clear, is that they must change. They must become more open to innovation as the market demands and attention shifts.
It's the only way to survive the technological age. It's the wild west here, and you better be willing to fight for your land.
The past couple of years have exposed a lot of weaknesses in the way that we connect online. The rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain, along with multiple security scares, is leading the general public to reevaluate the way they interact digitally.
Because of this, change is coming.
Are you ready?