By John F Morris
Two thousand and twelve was an interesting one for the world wide web and social media. Facebook hit half a billion monthly users, Twitter saw half a billion tweets in a single day, YouTube had 800 million unique visits each month with over 4 billion hours of video being watched. LinkedIn had a new user signup every second, Google+ had 5 billion +1’s in a day and 3 million new blogs were published on a monthly basis.
In March, Kony 2012 took off, Instagram was purchased by Facebook, Facebook and the NASDAQ became friends, Obama’s “4 more years.” tweet was re-tweeted almost a million times. Whitney Houston’s death broke on Twitter 15 minutes after it was confirmed and 42 minutes before The Associated Press confirmed it.
As such, here’s some predictions as to what to watch out for in 2013 in terms of the world wide web. While some of the points being made here are already being utilized, they will become more main stream.
Currently, Facebook is mainly a free environment, and it will continue to be in 2013 but the new thing for 2013 is it will become more common for individuals to purchase items off Facebook. The social network site will definitely be pimping out it’s e-commerce options in 2013 by selling things like products to TV episodes. Social Marketing will become more annoying then anything. The complaints about commercialization of your Friends feed has already started.
Facebook will announce their own new browser or buy one. If they build their own, I’ll go out on a limb to say it’ll flop, not because I don’t believe in this great company, but because of the real browser wars.
Customer comments will continue to play a major role in consumer spending and more and more, this will be promoted by the company selling the product such as a restaurant. Similar to today how FutureShop has customer comments on products, it’ll be more common for you to see the comments with restaurants.
In fact, comments in 2013 will be a major change. Anonymous online commenting will slowly start to disappear with more organizations switching to a third party verification software, such as Facebook.
The mobility wars definitely aren’t anywhere near from over. With iPhones one of the most popular devices in the world, I think one of the smaller players will make the leap into first place leaving Blackberry & iPhone behind, even with Apple releasing 2 new iPhones in 2013. After all, the pattern is 2 years in the number 1 position. That being said, I’ve heard all kinds of hype in regards to Blackberry’s new operating system, Blackberry 10.
Blackberry is in a risky position. While I am self-inclined to say they’ll pull out just fine, past performances of hyped products simply didn’t deliver. Although the Blackberry 10 is making some inroads, the question is, can they attract users back? And should I be investing in their stock, right now?
Google will continue to evolve with the expansion of street view taking users from on the street right into retailers. You will be able to check out a store’s shop without actually visiting it.
Google Authors will be a big thing in 2013. While this one is a bit risky in terms of success, I think news outlets will embrace it. If not only for the SEO value but the credibility of journalists will certainly go up further.
Pinterest will no longer just be about your interest, you’ll be able to purchase those interesting things right from the website. IPO talk will be more common towards the end of the year, if Pinterest is not purchased by one of the bigger players.
Google will take it a step further their with enforcing their cardinal rule, “content is king”. This will add new rules to their search engine to prevent web developers from tricking the Google Bot which some have been utilizing as a search engine optimization (SEO) trick.
Geolocation will become a larger player then it currently is. This will make it easier for companies to reach out to potential customers walking by on the sidewalk. New GeoLocation services will, hopefully, explode. This is another risky one but I’ll put it out there.
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