I decided to start 2008 off right. The first thing I did on arrival in the office (after checking my Twitter feed as per New Year’s Resolutions post) was to read through the various 2008 predictions for technology and social media.
You can find them tagged as “2008predictions” on my del.icio.us page.
So clearly, there’s no shortage of predictions out there, but just for fun, here’s four of my own:
1) Social media will continue to move from computer to mobile devices. This is pretty obvious, except for the fact that most North American marketers haven’t thought much about it yet. The migration will take some time, especially in Canada, which lags most of the developed world in mobile marketing, but 2008 will see some major moves forward.
2) Social networks will understand that not all friends are created equal. Friends, colleagues, family, prospective employers — all are different types of friends with whom I should be able to share different bits of information. Google showed they don’t understand this when they began sharing Google Reader bookmarks with Google Talk contacts. Watch for increased ability to tag friends based on relationships and set privacy settings accordingly.
3) The slowdown will help the entrenched. The U.S. economy is expected to cool in 2008. I don’t think we’ll see the bubble burst the way it did a few years back for dot coms. In fact, I think entrenched players like Facebook and Twitter will continue to see valuations rise. But the slowdown may mean less venture capital for challenger social networks. So I don’t think we’ll see a “new Facebook” in 2008, the way we saw Facebook become the “new MySpace” in 2007. (The caveat here is Google, which has the resources to make itself into the dominant player in any Web sector, either through development or acquisition.)
4) 2008 will see the rise of a better Second Life. Google is already rumoured to be building one. Facebook should too. The fact that these companies are custodians of the so-called social graphs make them well suited to transition into a virtual reality space that could get mass traction.