- Increase in Cyber Surveillance through Social Media Networks
There are disturbing indications that cyber-tracking and surveillance of individuals will increase throughout 2013.
Much of this can be blamed on Facebook’s constant stretching of individual privacy limitations. It seems to go like this: People find out Facebook is violating some privacy principle, people complain, the news media reports, Facebook tweaks. Everything dies down for a while. Then Facebook quietly makes another change that seems to violate a privacy principle, people complain, the news media reports, Facebook tweaks.
The problem occurs when this becomes a predictable cycle – many people seem to become both cynical and immune. “If you don’t want Facebook knowing about something, don’t post it,” said one teenager, with a chirpy common sense many adults would do well to emulate.
But now Facebook has acquired Instagram and Face.com, and is talking about automatically merging Facebook and Instagram data, as well as the ability for Facebook to “recognize” all photos of you ever posted, it will be interesting to see how much privacy concerns are going to affect social networking this year.
It may well be, however, that social networking will actually increase. A new generation thinks it is totally normal for the most mundane or personal happenings in their life to be hung out in public.
Besides which, NSA whistleblower, Walter Binney, has just made headlines by asserting that nearly every email in the U.S. is recorded by the FBI.
So that means email is no longer safer than social media networking.
One social media networking prediction to be sure of, however: No matter how much social networks or government agencies flout privacy laws and principles, large numbers are not going to stop using social media.
5. QR Codes Will Not Take Over the World
2012 also saw a rise in QR code use, as retailers and especially restaurateurs caught on quickly to these mobile-scannable graphic bar codes and all their delicious possibilities.
QR codes offer the ability to send people to:
- SMS text message
- Telephone numbers
This makes them ideal for campaign gimmicks such as contests and coupons.
QR codes reached their heyday in Japan before North America was ever aware of them. But now they are here, many people consider them merely annoying. The novelty of wowing friends by knowing what to do with them quickly wore off.
But what about QR codes and social networking?
Mainstream use will continue to keep QR code usage a part of daily mobile life. But it won’t be until 2014 that we’ll see heavy QR code use via social media – and only after companies and businesses have really got a handle on the best way to integrate these powerful little interactive gimmicks with social media.
- The Social Networking Fight between Facebook and Google Will Escalate
In fact, these two giants will leave all other networks in the dust.
But Apple is belatedly realizing that it should be paying more attention to social networking. It has updated its voice-recognition system, Siri (a sort of glorified, Bluetooth-behaving “personal assistant”) to launch apps, post on Facebook and Tweet.
Siri is not yet mainstream news and there is virtually no street-level buzz.
But given the capital Apple has at hand, it soon will command both.
7. More and More Large Companies Will Go Social
With mobile use taking over the planet (literally) large companies will have to seriously rethink the way they advertise and pay more attention to social networking.
Oh, most of the major ones already have pages on Facebook, but many still seem to cling to that old “we’ll set and forget” attitude, relying on awesome graphics and flash websites to interest readers.
Sorry, but it takes more than that, Big Boys. Social media users want:
- Location-based information (the nearest store, etc.
- A personal touch
- To tell their stories
- “Insider” deals
- Status-endowing offers
- The best deal
Unknown to users, however, social media analytics will reach new, sophisticated heights as companies mine all the main, relevant social networks, developing new systems for data analysis and use. The data will become (finally) more important than the platform.
And they’ll finally clue on to the fact that response is key to engagement.
Pretty soon, they’ll know what you had for breakfast. (Probably because you’ll tell them!)
But oh – gonna miss those Coca-Cola Polar Bear flash graphics and screensavers…
Social Media Predictions For 2013 Thoughts
As you can see there are some great things in the works already. What are your social media predictions for 2013? I would love to hear them. I think social media has came a long way in the last year, and it will become ever more so in the future.