It’s December, which means that it’s that time of year. Predictions! While 2012 was an exciting year for social media, I find it challenging to look back and characterize it. Was it the year of the mobile app? The year of the pinboard? Pinterest was certainly one of the big stories of 2012.
What will 2013 hold for social media? Let’s explore.
Social Media Predictions for 2013
- Social media becomes a “given” and we no longer call it out separately. We use terms like “marketing strategy,” “engagement strategy” and “audience generation strategy,” and NOT “social media strategy.”
- Likewise, organizations with “social media” job titles broaden those roles to cover a wider set of responsibilities. For instance, the “social media marketing manager” broadens to become the “marketing manager.”
- We see the major players doing more blocking and disabling of each other’s services, not less. The measures taken by Twitter and Instagram (in 2012) were the start of what we’ll see far more of in 2013.
- Venture capital will dry up for “pure” social media start-ups. You’ll need to pair your social media offering with a mobile or big data angle – or, whatever will emerge as the hot new thing in 2013.
- The “social media darling” of 2013 will be a new app that uses your social graph, your “interest graph” and your location to facilitate face-to-face connections. It’ll have specific features to discourage its use as a dating app.
- There will be a drop-off in blog postings on the topic of social media (consider this one an endangered species).
- Twitter publishes its definition of “spam user / spam bot” and drops those users from its official registered user count. Its reported user base drops by 20%, but advertisers give them a pat on the back.
- One among Klout, PeerIndex and Kred will be acquired for an eight figure sum. My money’s on Kred.
- Yahoo! acquires Quora for $800MM. Quora remains an independent site in 2013, but merges its user database with Yahoo’s.
- Despite investigations of anti-competitive actions, Google places increased emphasis of Google+ content in its search engine results. This forces social media marketers to tell their clients, “If you’re not on Google+, you lose.”
- We’ve gone from blogging to microblogging. In 2013, our sharing isn’t 140 characters at a time, it’s 1 character at a time. As they say on Wheel of Fortune, “Can I have an ‘E’?”
- Twitter’s makes further progress with the stability of its infrastructure. The fail whale faces extinction.
- MySpace expands beyond music into sports, recreation and other selected hobbies. It makes some acquisitions to grow audience in those areas and becomes the talk of the town at year-end 2013.
- After making significant concessions to the Chinese Government, Facebook is made available in China.
- As Facebook, Twitter and others focus on growing revenue, their end users experience “ad fatigue” and response rates (e.g. clicks) take a hit.
- Finding success on Twitter, The Pope expands to Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. He declines an offer, however, to become a LinkedIn Influencer.
- Facebook considers a move into the “data locker” space, figuring that they already have the critical mass of users – and, that it’s more effective than serving banner or text ads. See this related piece on data lockers from the New York Times.
- If there’s such thing as a “social media product of the year,” then in 2013 it will be Google+ Hangouts.
- Crowdfunding via social media is big. In 2013, it becomes huge.
- This post will receive precisely 17 comments. So leave your own social media predictions –and perhaps you can make this 2013 prediction come true in 2012.
Bonus Prediction Number 1
Facebook launches the equivalent of Twitter Cards, so you can embed FB posts across the web (like I've done with this tweet) #prediction—
Dennis Shiao (@dshiao) December 15, 2012
Bonus Prediction Number 2
This prediction comes from Heidi Thorne (@heidithorne):
In 2013, I think that people will continue to collapse the number of social networks in which they participate to the Big Three: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
YouTube, though I have a hard time classifying it as a “social” site, will continue to dominate the web. Google Plus, while an awesome platform, will continue to struggle to be relevant due to their late entry into the social game, but will be used for unique functions such as Hangouts.
Pinterest? I’m biased, but I think its sizzle will fizzle in the not too distant future. Other social sites, such as the reinvented MySpace, will become, for lack of a better term, “sites.” May have social sharing capability, but would not qualify as social “utilities” such as Facebook or Twitter.
Thanks for stopping by throughout 2012. Hope you had a good year and I hope 2013 is even better. Happy Holidays!
Note: I invite you to connect with me on Google+.