Social Media Outlook

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?


  1. Predicting social media trends two years out requires a longer digital telescope than I have on hand. The intermix of startups, technology advances, security concerns, international governmental legislation, and shifting market forces all add to the volatility of changing individual preferences. What’s unlikely to change is the thirst for interpersonal connection and reliable information along with the desire for one’s information to be kept private. The platforms that deliver ease of use with the highest security levels should win out.

    1. Absolutely! There are a lot of variables in play, indeed and this is an outlook that assumes several of those variables do not change. Where Facebook has a market advantage is that they own Instagram and WhatsApp. A failure of even more epic proportions than last Wednesday’s outage across the three social networks would need to happen before Facebook begins to lose enough market share where it begins to hurt. I’m personally leaning away from Facebook-proper into WhatsApp for the very reasons you state, and yet this means I’m still firmly planted in Facebook real estate!

      It would be very cool if a new social network arose to meet the challenges of ease of use and privacy, although some would argue that this is what WordPress is trying to be.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Wes! I always enjoy hearing your thoughtful feedback. 😊

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *