Welcome to a New Year! As we gear back up we wanted to introduce what other trend watchers are saying about the universe of social media for 2012 – some of which might surprise you.
Two likely developments over the upcoming year according to Lance Ulanoff at Mashable are the implementations of Augmented Reality (also ‘Mobile Augmented Reality’) and the development of the ‘Micro-Payment Economy.’ The former means we will look via our mobile devices (or perhaps glasses) to see not only the objects out there but also any digital information about them. Look at your favorite bistro, for example, and reviews will come up before your eyes as well.
The latter has been developing through much of 2011 as news journals have begun establishing pay walls for content and games are giving themselves away, though the more interesting features must be paid for along the way. Of course, nonprofits have been developingfor some time already, so hopefully that trend will only expand.
But Lance also believes Facebook is about maxed out in the Anglo-speaking world, and reactions against the ubiquitous cell phone are growing. States, and even the federal government, for example, are starting to implement. But if augmented reality becomes part of the windshield, then both sets of issues get solved.
argues, along with many others, that tablets will grow more powerful and grab still larger shares of the computing market. If that’s the case, we will likely see different form factors over the next couple of years as well – though it’s unlikely screens will notably improve in size or strength just yet.
Of course, part of the fun of the new year is to make such predictions in the hope no one hunts your guesses down twelve months later. But we predict that we’ll do our best to keep up with these and other trends – and keep you well informed of them over the coming year.