Mark Zuckerberg has made what appears to be an about-face on his stance for user privacy. Given his company’s rather bold project to spy on users, this seems a surprising move to the casual observer. However, not losing more users would be a good reason to ambitiously change your company’s business model.
Regardless, I have several personal predictions about how social media will shift in the next 2-4 years. Many of these predictions assume that Mark is telling the truth:
- I thought Twitter was going to die by 2016 or 2017. I was wrong. Twitter appears to have a second wind thanks to Donald Trump, artists, and software developers. However, if Twitter doesn’t add an edit button and enforce their own rules, their second wind may not last.
- Instagram and WhatsApp will continue to grow.
- Facebook is the new MySpace. It’s messy, convoluted, and low-EQ people have dumped a huge mess into this platform. Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp will be receiving more attention by Facebook going forward and will have cross-network messaging enabled in the next 2 years. WhatsApp users can talk to Instagram users, for example.
- Social Media ads will become less effective for most vendors on Facebook proper. However, in-line ads and bot suggestions will continue to thrive on Messenger, and may expand to WhatsApp.
- Ad targeting may become restrictive. I would be surprised if the strategy and algorithms didn’t dramatically change.
- Blogging software and platforms, such as WordPress, will grow in popularity as people find ways to own their platform and data.
- Search engine ads may see a resurgence.
- A blockchain will arrive for rapid international money transfers over social media. It won’t stop there. Hopefully it will build on what the Brave browser is trying to do. It will reward users for seeing ads on social media platforms. Users will use awarded blockchain tokens to buy things and reward content creators directly. These tokens will be convertible to fungible money and/or Bitcoin.
- Badguys will still find creative ways to do badguy things. Fake news will still spread because low-EQ or low-IQ people will still repost them. Foolish journalists and politicians alike will still blame Facebook for those problems.
What do you think? You think social media will be taking some interesting steps forward, or not? Will we truly see positive changes for privacy on social media?