Social media and social networking trends for 2008
January 5th, 2008

Since making prophecies and guesses about the new year’s trends is a fashionable topic, I thought it would be appropriate to sum up a few of them that I found at Leverage Social Media and Social Media Method.

Web pundit Rod Amis elaborates with five predictions on the social media in the following areas:

(1) the first pioneers will rise in the web 3.0 domain;
(2) mobile phone wars amongst the veteran Apple Computers with its iPhone, on one hand, and “Gorilla” Google, plus Motorola, as challengers for market niches, on the other;
(3) the legal issue of patent violations between Microsoft and Open Source/Open Software players should be interesting;
(4) the user-generated broadcasting phenomenon on the Internet will grow along with its audience;
(5) and finally, it remains to be seen to what degree the political activism in the blogosphere will become truly active in the real life, meaning to what degree netroots will turn into actual voters and people involved in civic issues.

Now, let’s take a look at the social networking trends, voiced by Gary Hall, the president of Pringo (a social networking platform), and synthesized by Eric B. from Social Media Method:

(1) in order to stay competitive, brands will try to understand, identify, and respond to their users’ specific needs by employing social media tools and user-generated content (UGC);
(2) intimacy and usefulness will be valued more, forming affinity groups and niches;
(3) the online advertising will have to be more tailored for the specific needs of the consumers;
(4) the companies that will not use social media tools to make the voice of their customers heard will lose in front of competition;
(5) personal interest will reshape the web surfing patterns, reducing the frequency of site-to-site hopping conduit, dominant so far;
(6) though the young population, so far the major social media catalyst, will still represent the greatest number of online newcomers, in 2008 a more mature population will join;
(7) the major corporations will replace the outdated intranet systems and will build better communication with employees by making use of social media on customizable, scalable and feature-rich platforms;
(8) mobile social media will become a bigger player on the market, following ever growing demands; and
(9) 2008 will bring a market consolidation, where larger social media players, in order to stay competitive, attractive and relevant, will become portals by assimilating smaller sites built around a common interest.

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