10 years ago at this moment, the world was relieved that nothing that they had feared about, regarding Y2K actually happened. People were now placing their money back into the bank, while others had an endless supply of food they had stocked up on just in case. It’s crazy to think that if someone would have said “Facebook”, “YouTube”, “Digg”, or just the words “social media,” we most likely would have given them a funny and strange look.
It was in 2004 when social media was created. Linkdin & MySpace took to the web and since then there has been explosion of “social media” & “social networking” sites. When I graduated high school in 2005, if had ever wanted to share a video with the class for a certain project, I’d have to visit the library, maybe a video store, and rent the video, while worrying about some return date. Today, my brother who is in his sophomore year of high school is able to use YouTube to share a video with just the click of a mouse. Our world has advanced so much in the past decade, and social media has played a significant role!
We are just a few days into both a new year and a new decade. So what will come of social media in the next year and decade? For starters, social media is just getting started. 2009 was really the boom of social media. Everyone embraced it.
2009 was the year for Twitter. The microblog grew tremendously, and proved to be extraordinary useful. Twitter is no longer just a social network or a microblog. Co-founder puts it best saying Twitter is “real-time information network.” He’s right. This year was the birth of that. News organizations, like CNN embraced the power of social media, going to ordinary citizens to find the story. Like Janis Krums, who was the first to capture the first image of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson in January. Twitter was flooded with tweets and powerful images from the Iran protests, over the summer and in recent weeks. Then in October millions of tweets helped break the story of Falcon Henne, better known as Balloon Boy.
Twitter is going to become our news source. If you want to know what’s happening in the world, just go to Twitter, and you’ll see a list of trending topic, often full of the latest happenings. Some sites like BreakingTweets & The Twitter Times are dedicated filtering out tweets world wide to keep you updated on what stories are making headlines and are being tweeted the most by twitter users. Main stream media is going to suffer a bit in the transition of news media. Journalism style from the days of Walter Cronkite & Peter Jennings are rapidly making their way out the door. This could be both good and bad. While new media will help everyone share what’s on their mind, but hearing and learning about international news could could become less noticable in local and national newscasts with our egocentric society.
It’s hard to predict what’s next for Facebook. In 2009, the company more than doubled it’s population reaching 350 million users, and that number continues to grow every second. The social network will help users stay connected with friends and family. While we went from post mail to e-mail, now with Facebook and other similar social networks, your friends can check in with your happenings via status updates and photos.
Something that we started to see emerge in 2009 was the introduction of augmented reality (A.R.). Still, a bit confusing to most, but this is one cool bit of technology. We’ll definitely continue to see a lot more A.R. services in the future. The November 2009 cover of Esquire magazine featured Robert Downey Jr. sitting on a box with an AR box. When held up to a web camera, the cover comes to life on camera, and depending on which direction you hold the magazine, what happens on the screen will be different. The video belows demonstrates how Esquire used AR on the cover.
A.R. will become part of every one’s online/computer experience, and social media sites will likely find ways to allow users to create their own A.R. experience.
Many social media experts say that 2009’s social media experience will be about one thing. Localization. Being able to actually share where you are with your friends, in effort to possible find each other at a local venue, unplanned. What’s help from our smart phones, checking in and sharing where you are is easier than ever. Many Twitter apps include a location button, which finds your location and posts it along with your update. Other apps such as FourSquare and Loopt allow you to check in and earn points/badges.
What will be really neat will be the combination of localization and augmented reality. Some applications such as UrbanSpoon allow you to hold up your phone and as you turn in a 360 degree circle, nearby restaurants will appear showing you which direction the restaurant actually is, along with a description and a phone number. Can we say move over Google Maps?!
Next, Conan O’Briens prediction of “In the year 3000, ‘YouTube, Twitter and Facebook will merge to form one super time-wasting Web site called YouTwitFace,'” may not actually be to far off. Although I don’t see any name changes, MySpace & Facebook recently teamed up allowing users to sign into each other’s sites so that users can share videos and music. In a recent article, Samuel Axon, contributor for Mashable.com, said that he thinks Facebook will integrate with the rest of the web, since Facebook Connect launched in 2009.
“Facebook has taken its first steps towards integrating with the rest of the web by deploying Facebook Connect and making its content searchable,” said Axon. In early-December, Facebook announced that 17% of Facebook users actually use Facebook Connect on a regular basis.
While I shared with you, one way social media has changed the way high school projects (or projects in general) are done, it will continue to change in more ways than you think. For as far back as high school history goes, high schools have rivaled each other in football and other sports. Of course there those less popular competitions in high schools, like drama department duels, chess and math competitions, and my favorite, speech team. While most of my high school could have care less if I took our team past regionals, but now it’s those so called “geek” clubs that are helping social media change in the K-12 school system. The club likely to get more members in the next 10 years, the AV club. And of course that’s going to look fantastic on those college applications.
Since the birth of YouTube and other similar videos sites, have become something everyone enjoys. Both watching and creating. Recently, two Seattle area rival high schools have started a YouTube rival, bringing nearly all the students together to create better videos than their rival school. In November, students at Shorecrest High School in Shorewood, WA created lipsyncing video to Outkasts, 2003 hit song “Hey Ya!” While the group performance is outstanding and has more than a quarter of a million views, it’s Shorecrest’s rival, Shorewood High who has won, at least the first battle. The students decided to make a video to Hall & Oates song, “You Make My Dreams.” What makes the Shorewood video stands out, they lipsynced backwards. The best way to explain it, is to just watch the schools battle it out.
YouTube has created internet celebrities, and while sites like Hulu bring television shows online, more exclusive online shows will become the new wave. More websites like i2TV will evolve allowing the everyday person to become a television star.
While this holiday shopping season, retailers learned that social media can actually be beneficial to them, more online stores will use sites like Facebook & Twitter to promote theirbusinesses. While, I don’t see stores abandoning their websites completely, many maybe placed on the back burner, since any information the company wants to release can reach more people using their social media pages. Stores may eventually start selling products right off social networking likes, most specifically Facebook. And Facebook has even mentioned they are working on creating a service like PayPal, so that users will be able to purchase, or pay bills directly on the site. That feature is expected to be released sometime later this year.
It’s hard to really predict what will happen in the next year or even 10. Technology is growing faster and faster every day, and as we look back on this article in 10 years, we are probably going to laugh because we will be so much more advanced than what we can even imagine.