It’s 2014 now, so what does that mean? Time for some lists of course! Let’s celebrate the highs and lows of the previous year and look to what the future has in store. In the world of social media, 2013 held some break moments contributing to a paradigm shift within the industry. We saw the emergence and evolution of services like Snapchat and Vine. We witnessed key financial markets move up and down to the tune of Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, Google overhauled their once confusing Google+ monster, to create a more user friendly, streamlined approach.
It truly was a remarkable year, one which entrenched the idea that social media is definitely not a passing fad and has become so much more than simply Facebook. With that in mind I figured I would put on my best fortune teller cap, stare into my crystal ball and give 2014 a shot! Wish me luck, and don’t hold my mistakes against me in 2015!
2013 really was the year of the mobile. With the advance in technology and burgeoning options in terms of hardware, it’s hard to remember the days without our smart phones and tablets. That being said I believe 2014 will go even further to integrate technology into places we previously haven’t used it. This can be seen within the new generation of video game consoles and smart TV’s. It’s not to say that these features weren’t previously available, but for the most part they seemed finicky and cumbersome. I believe 2014 will truly bring us into the sci-fi future in terms of interacting with others via social media while sharing the experience of entertainment. Live chat with a friend reciting your favourite lines of a movie or yell with your dad at your home team from a thousand miles apart.
Subscription Based Service
We’ve yet to see the pay to play model adopted by any of the big dogs, but 2014 could change that. We have to remember that some of these guys are now accountable to shareholders and unfortunately for us, they don’t share the Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems mantra made famous by the Notorious B.I.G. Developing a subscription based service that offers extra incentives to a free option is probably the route we will embarked on. Don’t be surprised if this Facebook Plus or Twitter Elite services offer better ad integration and targeting, offering a superior service for a monthly fee.
Year of the Video
We heard it all through 2013, 2014 will be the year of the video in internet marketing. With video ads coming straight to the Facebook news feed and the continued growth of services like Instagram Video, Vine, Vimeo etc… We will see brands of every size begin to develop a video strategy, not just the creative implements either. Brands must discover how to push video content around their various social outlets to utilize the power of video.
Google+ Gets Stronger
I love Google+. Yes, I said it, now lift your jaw up from the floor and let me tell you why. Google+ communities have allowed me to connect with very similar groups of people both professionally and personally. Much in the way of the obscurity of something like a subreddit, Google+ communities allow me to talk to other social media buffs and share content in appropriate places. It’s not just for social media either, the communities to choose are endless and you be surprised with the activity within them. I think 2014 will prove vital in G+’s evolution as social SEO factors along with Google+ Local ranking comes even more into play. Look to professionals to lead the way, using the service to spread their content around the web.
Facebook’s Quest to Re-Claim Cool
2013 saw Facebook lose a little ground with younger generations. The baby boomers have finally figured out how to use Facebook and the kids born in the 90’s and early 2000’s are running for the hills. It simply isn’t cool to have grandma like and comment on every post you make about the new One Direction video. Let’s not get it twisted here, Facebook is extremely happy with their current pool of devotees and in particular the income they enjoy for ad targeting, but this is not a future proof plan. Coke isn’t lame because your aunt Jill drinks it, Facebook knows they have to achieve this and bring tomorrow’s working professionals back into the fold. How can they do this? Well, purchasing any startup with some sizzle is a start, but I believe Facebook has something up their sleeve geared towards this generation and we will see it in 2014.
That’s all folks, see you in 2015 for the results show!