A Few Observations on the Year Ahead

Only a fool makes predictions in the social space given its relentless change. Well, according to my 3 kids, I’m well qualified, so here are a few thoughts on how things may play out in the year ahead:

The Vanishing Point
The surge of Snapchat’s self-destructing messages, photos and captions ushered in the erasable Internet. We’re swimming in polished photos, curated social profiles, over-thought Tweets and precious Status Updates. Parents hound their kids with warnings that whatever they say on the Internet will come back to haunt them later on, when they’re up for a cabinet post or the condiments post at White Castle. Snapchat’s vanishing messages liberated this generation. This app is their ticket to spontaneously and authentically communicate free of worries about future consequence. That’s an enormous benefit, so expect lots more evaporating platforms and apps. Long-live short-lived social messaging!

Exposing More to Less
Newsflash: Everyone’s on Facebook. 1.23 billion of us log on at least once a month. So even if I am a fool, I’m not predicting Facebook’s failure. But we may see a large movement of people to private social networks like Path or nascent platforms like Google+ where they can reveal more of themselves to a more select group. It’s not that people will abandon Facebook, but that many of us will also seek out quieter, more personable online experience. Then, they can be more themselves to fewer people. But that photo of their dog’s new sweater vest? Facebook forever.