As we’re merely days away from the end of another amazing, ever-changing year in the realm of social media, we shift our focus to what we might be able to expect in 2012. And here’s what I’m thinking…
1. Google+ won’t last much longer.
I don’t know if this is just my pessimistic self not having much faith in Google+, but I can’t see the social network lingering around much longer. While it was the fastest growing social network ever, I believe it has completely fizzled out because, well, nobody uses it. (I have over 50 people in my Circles and about two of those people actually post on a very sporadic basis.) In my opinion, I think Google+ tried way too hard to be Facebook when it really had an opportunity to start something completely different. This hurt Google+’s chances at breaking away as a new social network of its own with its own unique features.
However, in a contradictory view, Dave Higgins at Social Media Today feels Google+ will gain bigger traction in 2012. This one is a complete toss up in my eyes because you never know what Google has up their sleeves. I am very anxious to see what will transpire with the social network in the next year, though, even if I think it might fail.
2. Visual platforms and apps, like Pinterest, Instagram, etc., will continue to popularize.
If you’ve been reading and keeping up on your social media news, you know Pinterest is all the rage these days and has “exploded from 1.2 million users in August to over 4 million today.” I think Pinterest has the opportunity to rival some of the bigger social networks out there, including Facebook and Twitter, during 2012. Instagram (which is an app I immediately downloaded once I got the new iPhone and Apple’s ‘App of the Year) is another visual social network that I think will continue to blow up as well. (Here’s proof that it already has.) Instagram allows you to upload a constant stream of photos that you can also edit with different filters, connect with Twitter and share socially. And, let me tell you, I’m pretty much addicted to both of these and I think it’s because they are so visually appealing and pleasing. Plus, they’re fun, interactive and very easy to use.
In 2012, I can see apps and platforms in this ‘genre’, if you will, to continually grow and develop. We’ll move away from status updates and move towards visual updates.
3. Facebook’s layout will change…again.
More of a hunch on this one, but I feel once people get bored of Facebook’s ‘Timeline’ feature, Facebook may up the ante with a new, epic layout of some sort. I don’t know, I just have this feeling…
And to that I say bring it on 2012! While those are just three of my predictions for what’s coming up in our industry (which this post was inspired by this article), now, I want to hear your thoughts. What do you predict will happen in the world of social media in 2012?