Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Would 2011 Have For Us?

After 3 week long hiatus I'm about to restart my blogging. During the break I visited India and South Korea for about ten days each, and was reminded that how much I grew addicted to constant Twitter feeds and Facebook status updates. The moment I regained my free wifi connection at Seoul International Airport, I was back at catching up all the news bits from my social media curators.

One theme that I noticed from all tweets and articles was the year 2011 prediction. Whether Facebook will go IPO or not, whether Google will successfully launch its social network site or not, what the next Groupon or Zynga will be in year 2011, and such. After reading a few of them, I realized I had a few overarching trends that I saw from my perspective. I wanted to outline a few notable trends that I anticipate in year 2011.

1. New social media sites will gain roots despite growing Facebook domination

Market Cap Comparison Between Facebook,
Google, Microsoft, and Apple:
I'm Not The Only One Comparing Facebook To These Giants...
While catching up on my old tweets, first tweet that caught my attention was Goldman Sach's $450 million investment of Facebook at $50 billion valuation. It's clear that Facebook is officially in class of its own. This probably means Facebook will not go IPO this 2011, but it doesn't mean that Facebook will dominate all aspects of social networking.

I expect other new up-and-coming social networking sites to take roots with greater user base as Facebook expands its user base internationally. Social media is all about context, and Facebook will not be successful in becoming be-all-and-end-all social network for everyone. Especially younger college group and enterprise users will continue to seek and expand their own social networking communities on separate social media sites.

2. Enterprises will embrace social media through social media policy for customer-facing professionals

There are already signs of enterprises adopting social media policy and tools in patches starting last year. These signs will start to get translated into official social media policy and monitoring, archiving tools deployed. First the policy and tools will be targeted to those professionals who can directly leverage social media tools to get their jobs done, such as financial advisors or broker-dealers.

3. Smart phones and tablet devices will become primary electronic devices for business users

With increasing iPhone, Android, and iPad popularity in consumer space, enterprises will start adopting iPhone, Android, and iPad in addition to Blackberry and Dell, Lenovo laptops. Most business users rely on their laptops for communication (email and VoIP) and data consumption (web browsing or reading MS Office documents). These common communication and data consumption tasks will be made easier on iPad and other low-cost tablets, and they will start replacing traditional laptops as we know them today.

4. Video conference over smart phones and tablet devices takes root

Apple FaceTime:
I Admit It, I Have Emotional Attachment To FaceTime...
Video conferencing over smart phone and tablet devices will take roots. With launch of iPad2 (expected sometime mid this year) that has dual-camera just like iPhone4 and other competing tablet devices, video conferencing will become one of the popular applications of next generation tablets. This will be accelerated by enterprise's adoption of tablets, and general availability of camera-enabled devices become default communication devices in business settings.

I expect a wave of video sharing and video-enabled social media sites for different user segments and contexts.

5. Media consumption will shift to mobile devices

In Seoul, Watching TV On Mobile Phone Is
Favorite Pastime Activity While In Transit
As internet bandwidth continues to grow, people will consume more media contents on mobile devices. There will be additional media curating sites where people can share TV shows or video contents with others just like YouTube video links are shared today on Facebook. As people will consume more media contents on the go, cable and media companies will create their own sites to service these contents directly to users through subscription services.

Well, there you have it. My list of 2011 trends, if you can call at that. Let's see how well these will hold up at the start of 2012. Until then, feel free to add yours as comments.

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