It is the end of another social networking year and everyone is preparing for the new, settling the old, and prognosticating like crazy. I decided that if they can do this, then I should be allowed in on the fun as well. Heck! This is the one time out of the year that you can pretty much say anything, and no one can dispute the facts against you. Because the facts are in the future. That means a year from now, looking back at this post we are already in the past. Heavy man!
Which leads me to my idea that predictions should go beyond 2012.
Instead, I want to picture what social networking will look like on January 1st, 2013. What will the world look like approximately 375 days from now. So, join me on my time social networking 2013 time machine and let us get this party started.
Social Networking 2013 Crystal Ball
First, the trend to mobile continues. On January 1st, 2013 I predict that 2/3 of all social networking users in the US will access their mobile devices as much as they access their desktop computers to check in on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
However, since this is such as huge trend right now I also want to add that 25% of those mobile users will be engaging in some form of Augmented Reality.
Second, Google Plus will have 250 million users. Where did I come up with this line of thinking! Right now they are around 50 million. It is not inconceivable for them to grow at a pace of over 50 million a quarter for the next year.
That might be a little ambitious, however, the majority of that growth would happen towards the later part of the year when Google finally gets the traction it needs to prove it is a long-standing viable competitor to Facebook. More than likely it I can see the growth trend for each quarter as 25 million, 50 million, 50 million, and 75 million.
This site is hooked into the biggest online marketing platform on the web today with Google search, Gmail, and Youtube.
Now an even bigger question! Why is this important? To that we go to the bat mobile! Or my third social networking prediction 2013.
Third, Social networking will transform into social search. This will be largely in part to Google, but also because of the fact that every major social media entity has enhanced their search features. The social search line is gone, so backlinking alone is not enough for search traffic. Instead, you will need 1,000 back links and 100 likes, pluses, tweets, etc to look viable.
This will diminish the power of relationship building, but it will also provide a venue for small businesses to compete more competitively with larger ones. A merging a social and search means that content marketing will be even more important.
While large companies have the capacity to create volumes of content, most of them generally do not know what to say. Small businesses have the ability to relate to their readers, subscribers, fans, and followers a lot more effectively.
With all of these changes, the big question is how do we effectively manage our business using social networking in the next 375 days to January 1, 2013. That is exactly what we will discuss tomorrow with a brief social networking strategy session.
Thanks for the predictions and insights. Sounds like some exciting things on the horizon!
Here is an odd one, its not so much a prediction of what will happen with social media but more with regards to the people who do not adopt it.
I deleted my facebook/twitter/all other social media accounts as I dont like them at all, I will not put my life online and I think people should really think about what and why they do it. Is it really worth having so much infrmation available online to just look cool with a few drunk photos with friends?
Anyhow….. I did use a work facebook account last week and it was really difficult to find my way around, much more complex than I remeber, so I am going to say the people who are not ob board now will find it really difficult to get on board the longer they resist, however, I will keep resisting!
Facebook is about relationships. If you were just using it for information then you only saw the overload and not the benefits of using the site. I respect that you made a choice, but differ on how to approach that choice.
I might be carrying a smart phone next year, but I really have no use for it. It is a distraction. Believe me, one lady pulled her iPhone out right at the beginning of her lecture to foursquare herself in. I walked out of it having a feeling her concept of social networking might not be the best advice (and I ended up being correct.)
I think on the mobile use, it is definitely going to be a huge thing, especially since 2011 was the year of Responsive Design.
Social search is actually already here. It is on Google and Bing, and before, even Twitter posts were easily indexed. I would like to see some indexing on Facebook and even LiveJournal.
Backlinking has been out for about 2 years and even before that, even Matt Cutts explained how little impact it was on a site unless the site was higher in SERP.
I am not sure if Google will be a good competitor against Facebook anytime soon… perhaps in 5 years. However, it is a great social network platform. My only worry is that Google has the same curse Yahoo! tends to fall under… getting rid of useful services out of the blue. Hopefully that will not happen.
If Facebook continues to stink up their UI with more notices and feeds, it might have to worry.
You will not see Facebook indexing, because that would mean Google would have to admit they are in existence.
In regards to backlinking, while it is not as important as it was a few years ago I disagree with the notion that it does not help in the serps. I still do a lot of backlinking for my sites. Every time I do I see an increase in search traffic. I know that you are saying Matt Cutts says it is not important, but then why would it help my search traffic so much?
It will not take 5 years for google to be competitive with Facebook. it will be closer to 2-3 at most, because 5 years is simply too long of a time frame for Google to wait. They are putting a lot of money and resources into beefing up G+. They do have the tendency to do magic tricks with services: Google Wave disappear!
I do not mind FB new interface that much, except for the wall street ticker on the right hand side.
Social networking will transform into social search. This will be largely in part to Google, but also because of the fact that every major social media entity has enhanced their search features.Thanks for sharing this useful and informative blog to us..I really appreciate it!
Good point! The search engines are getting more social and the social engines are getting more search.
I would say Facebook is the top social site. Many companies, movies, bands, shows make pages and easily share them with everyone. It is a great way to get the word out about them. The applications and games on the site are alot of fun to play against your friends.
Facebook is definitely more important to most businesses social networking than Google at the moment. However, Google will claim a significant share over the year.