Social media is changing fast. Facebook buys Instagram. Google+ changes its look and feel, again. Twitter gets more visual and is used to assess the public mood and soon it will help predict riots and stock market rallies.
All these are real stories in the past few months. Try searching for #socialmedia stories on Twitter and you will be assaulted by wave after wave of developments in social media. Every minute.
But where will all this lead us? I see three clear trends, each of which could lead to big developments:
1. The visual web. Instagram video, Google glasses and local YouTube2 feeds will allow us to travel almost anywhere and experience everything as ultimate-voyeurs, but beyond that expect artistic photojournalism, fashion fabrics that change colour, people tracking, your visual life on a site, celebrity holograms at your local fashion outlet and rebranding sites that will let you see how you might appear with a few nicks and tucks.
2. The auto posting trend. Expect your phone to auto post your location to Eightsquare, your preferences from your GoogleGlasses2 to your life-blog and your audio-to-text tweets to Twitter2. Going beyond that we will be tracked by location posting sites for curfew, remote working and spouse spying applications.
3. The digital divide. The erosion of the middle class will lead to a divide between those of us who pursue hourly deals on energy and fuel and Bigger Mac deals and those few of us who need hologram security services, auto-taser fencing and helicopter extraction from urban locations. Security zones will extend to elite stores, clubs and hotels, all invisible to the rest of us by their anonymous exteriors.
Much of the above will happen before 2020. If you want to create a start-up focusing on what we will be the number one social media brand in that year, consider incorporating some of the above elements.
To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!