What To Expect From Social Media in Five Years
You don't have to go back to far to remember a time when social media didn't dominate the marketing landscape. Now, they are everywhere. They are essential to getting your business known and establishing your brand. Have you considered what the landscape might be in the next five years? Here are some predictions.
According to Fortune Magazine, when Facebook bought Oculus VR, it set a firestorm in the social scene. Besides the price tag, $2 billion, it also shows a sharp turn in Facebook's product line. The purchase has people trying to predict the next big thing using virtual reality technology. Some claim Facebook wants to stay on the cutting edge of technology while others say Facebook is gearing up to be a multimedia conglomerate, such as Hearst or Viacom. A possibility is using its market capitalization to create a bigger limit on Instagrams or WhatsApps.
The move has caused some internal friction, though. That is never good for companies. It usually leads to spin-offs or firings. Facebook may split over dueling objectives. When it launched it was a lot more fun and idealistic, and now that it is a public company, it is under pressure to grow up quickly and to monetize. Experts believe the divide will continue for years. Half the company heading toward generating revenues while the other half pushing the ideals of authentic engagement and connecting the world. Still others believe the Oculus purchase will result in both connections and revenues.
In five years, Facebook could hold onto a much larger piece of the advertising pie, graph search to become bigger, and the company to make more inroads in e-commerce. Once it accomplishes this move, Facebook will create its own operating system instead of relying on Android or iOS.
It seemed that Facebook was copying another's purchase. Google bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion last year. The company seems to be anticipating the next big technology thing. And, like Facebook, Google wants to be first to hit the market with the new technology. Google and Facebook are in an all-out tech war. And even though the hardware is getting all the headlines in this fight, don't overlook the networks themselves as battle's front lines.
While Google Plus may not survive the next five or 10 years, its user base will live on in the tools connected to the network. Google has the most important social network and the most active one in Gmail, adding that Hangouts, the former Talk and Voice will be even more important as Android matures. YouTube, Drive, Calendar and Gmail will serve as keys to making the social network relevant from sentiment and search to insights from e-mail and appointment mining.
Although Twitter may continue to be distinct by its simplicity, it has to continue to make money. Over the next five years, the company's monetization will be faster than its user adoption. But, the Twitter is not growing fast enough, which has some analysts concerned. While the network will continue to grow, it might not equal Facebook's user base.
This technology, an overlay of information in your reality, is coming to a device near you. BMW's project that puts repair data on the inside of glasses for mechanics, an iPhone app that uses the camera and compass to provide location-based information, a demo of an augmented reality-assisted GPS system, and the University of Washington's efforts to display data on contact lenses. Soon, this will be the way to market beyond social media.
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