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2012 Is Almost Here

DATE PUBLISHED: November 17, 2011
You can see it in the malls, in the stores, almost everywhere you look. Just as the final Halloween mask was put at 90% off (regular retail prices) the stores changed over to Thanksgiving decor, with Christmas ornaments not far behind. All that foretells that a new year is right around the corner. Welcome to 2012. Bring on the confetti.

So what’s going to happen to social media in the New Year? Good question! If I was a fortuneteller, I’d be jotting down some predictions – most of which wouldn’t come to pass. But some things are pretty obvious as we end 2011.

Next year will see email use decline substantially. Here’s why: those Facebook folks are using less and less email to communicate, and more and more Facebook. The only group where email increased is 55-64, and 65+.

Another decline is predicted for website traffic. That’s understandable, as more and more content is heading over to Facebook, LinkedIn and other places. The technology is there – and designers are busy designing multi-media applications to run on those places.

Another huge trend is that video as a communication tool will soar. Some big players (can you say, “Cisco?”) claim that most Internet traffic in just a few years will be video. Mobile networks are becoming more able to handle video calls, and those smartphones will continue to sell, accounting for over 90% of all mobile phones sold.

If you think that’s a bold prediction, think about this – just over 3 years ago nobody heard of the “App Store.” Today, there are over half a million apps available, with over 10,000 new ones submitted each month! Wow! That doesn’t include the Android, by the way.

While Facebook will rule, there’s going to be a surge in private social networks. That means big companies will start their own internal version of Facebook, enabling their employees in faraway offices to talk to one another over their own social network.

Another trend is at the retail level, thanks to Google. Yes, they’re in our pockets again, this time with their Google Wallet. If all predictions come true, this will replace the credit card, as we know it. And you can kiss your literal wallet goodbye, because you’ll be using your smartphone or iPad or (put name here) to pay for things.

It’s pretty scary to sit here and wonder just what will, and won’t come to pass in the coming year. One thing is certain, however: change is inevitable – and it’s happening at lightening speed. So buckle up, grab a glass of the bubbly and wait for 12am on January 1st 2012 to arrive!

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