At the end of every year, all the big names in tech, social media, marketing, etc, compile a list of trends to watch out for the next year. And without fail, every year, most of these predictions do not come true. We have compiled a list of 2013 predictions, while some came true, others just flopped.
The Big 2013 Predictions
It is THE year for mobile
False – Although there was a huge surge in smartphone users and mobile usage in general, what really matters are conversion rates, which were not as promising.
Desktop users are still going strong, although with such exponential growth, mobile users are not far behind.
Youtube will finally become a social front runner
False – Although videos have become more important in 2013, it was not due to Youtube. The introduction of Vine by Twitter and Instagram Video made short viral videos a possibility on new social platforms. With the huge backlash from the YouTube community when Google forced Youtube comment integration with Google Plus, it does not seem likely that Youtube will ever become a social powerhouse in its own right.
Visuals will rule social
True – The World Wide Web has increasingly become the Visual Web. 2013 brought the rise of Pinterest, an almost entirely visual social platform and Instagram, a completely visual social app. Facebook and Twitter both updated their platforms to incorporate and promote a more visual interface and experience. Twitter, known for its 140 character format, made a drastic change, introducing Twitter Cards, which allow media to be viewed directly in your Twitter feed.
See how Social Annex does visuals.
Social Media will be automated and outsourced.
True – This did happen, but for so many reasons, we wish it hadn’t. Keep your social media team human and up to date on news.
This happened during the Casey Anthony trial. Please always check before using a hashtag.
NRA tweeted this after the Aurora shooting, one reason of many to skip automated tweets.
CelebBoutique tweeted this, another reason to check hashtags.
London Luton Airport tweeted this image of the Chicago plane crash for promotion.
Other social media fails of 2013.
Effective Use of Big Data
True – Big Data became a trending topic in 2013, with many new startups claiming the field, helping companies collect and make sense of the complex mass of big data available. (Psst, we’re one of those companies that can collect and use Big Data too!)
Social TV will be the new Social Experience
False – Many attempts at creating a social experience while watching TV have failed. Instead we saw the rise of the second screen, as more and more users are simultaneously on their tablets or mobiles while watching TV.
Rise of Native advertising
True – Social sites have developed new ways for advertising and marketing such as sponsored stories, promoted tweets, and in-stream advertising. As consumers become increasingly aware of ads (and avoiding them), new tactics and strategies must be developed. The more users gravitate towards these social sites, the more inevitable advertising on them will become.
LinkedIn & Google+ will dominate the social sphere
False – The growth of these two social networks have not nearly been as fast or large as many have predicted. Most likely because they have not been on trend with other things that did happen in 2013. LinkedIn is mainly for professionals and lacks a visual experience, however LinkedIn is now moving this direction with the introduction of Showcase Pages. As for Google+, many users still do not know its full benefits and refuse to learn, stunting its growth.
2013 will be the End of Facebook as we know it
False – No matter how many people predicted that Facebook would take a swan dive like social sites before it (ahem, Myspace), Facebook is still the most frequented social site, with the most members of any network. As new trends emerge, Facebook continues to update its platform to stay relevant with new photo optimized timelines and hashtag utility. And with all the perks Facebook gives brands and eCommerce, it doesn’t seem like Facebook is going anywhere soon.
And last but not least, the rise of robots
False – This hasn’t happened yet, but there were some notable tech developments in 2013 including 3D printing, Google Glasses, Samsung Smart Watch, and a self-driving Car that puts us scarily close to seeing i-Robot come to fruition.
So what did happen in 2013? Facebook enforced a 20% rule, Instagram introduced ads, Pinterest got massive updates and Twitter went public. And these three events will change social media as we know it.
What do you think will happen in 2014?