Look for these Social Media Trends in the New Year
This article will take a brief look at the current status of social media and where it is trending for the upcoming New Year. Then we look at 2 new powerhouses in the making as well the rise of mobile and what it will mean for the social media’s biggest stars.
The trend is on. Just look around – new, popular and influential social media networks are popping up faster than popcorn. The first hugely successful ones are now household names. We are talking about the Facebooks, Twitters and Google +1’s of this world. People just can’t get enough of social media. The year 2013 promises to bring even more social media growth and innovation. So what’s ahead for the upcoming year?
The Current Social Media Heavyweight Scene
First let’s look at some of the the current high rollers in social media. Starting with the 800 pound gorilla of social media, the numbers are staggering for Facebook. It claimed 1 billion active users as of October of this year, with some 81% of those users being outside the US and Canada. Not far behind is Twitter. It boasts of having over 500 million users worldwide (An interesting footnote: Lady Gaga alone has almost 32 million followers – the most of anyone, according to socialbakers.com). Then there is YouTube. “Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube,” says the video giant. Whoaaa! That’s a lot of videos views! Let’s now look at some developing trends in social media for 2013…
A Giant Panda in the Waiting
But we already knew about these social icons, you say. How about some lesser-knowns making waves? The US and Europe are not the only places giving birth to the social media revolution. China too, with its increasingly growing cultural and economic influence, is expanding into the social media arena in a big way and it has a Giant Panda that is hungry.
China boasts of 1 billion social media users according to forbes.com. That’s almost as much as the entire Chinese population. Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, recently crossed the 400 million user mark and is gaining fast on Twitter in terms of number of users, even though Twitter had a 3 year head start. Could this growing Asian behemoth go international in 2013 and take on the likes of Twitter and Facebook? Not inconceivable.
And There’s a New Contender…
It’s nice when someone comes under the radar once in a while, with humble expectations, and surprises everyone. That seems to be the story of the next social media network we look at – Pinterest. Better watch out, Facebook, Twitter and Google – there’s a new contender!
Pinterest has been an exciting story since its inception just a few short years ago. It became the third largest social network in the US earlier this year, is poised for even further growth in 2013. With its meteoric rise, Pinterest became the fastest site to reach 10 million monthly visitors. It is now also becoming the newest darling of online advertising. Pinterest only recently joined the ecommerce fray but is already making its presence felt. Earlier in the year Shopify conducted a study of its referral traffic and found that Pinterest referrals were 10% more likely to make a purchase than those coming from other social network sites and that the average dollar amount spent by a Pinterest referral was double of that coming from Facebook. Look for even bigger things in the upcoming year out of the newest social media heavyweight. They may just shock everyone.
The Year the Cord is Finally Cut: Bring on Mobile!
Finally, look for 2013 to be the breakout year for mobile computing. With increasingly more apps and powerful mobile devices and smartphones, there is going to be a shift from PC to mobile computing. In fact IDC Financial Insights predicts that the number of mobile internet users will expand by almost 17% annually to 2015, the year in which mobile use will overtake PC use. Innovative social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will be able to take advantage of this to deliver ads integrated into social content or “native ads”, transforming themselves into the big time as advertisers and taking on mighty Google.
Yes, the New Year sure looks exciting for social media. There are going to be changes and innovation, to be sure. We could see it usher in new names to displace old ones and accelerate the expansion of the platform’s sociocultural reach into every corner of the globe as well as having a breakout impact on ecommerce. It’s going to be fun to watch. Can’t wait!
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