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Top 5 Social Media Predictions for 2011

2010, while not the year when social media ‘really took off’ as many will say, it hit the mainstream a long time before that, it did see the major networks, Twitter and Facebook drawing in some really impressive figures. Facebook, the world’s most popular social network surpassed the 500 million mark, while Twitter closed in on the coveted 100 million mark. At present, it would take a brave man to bet against these two behemoths further ballooning in size in 2011, but there is plenty of room for challengers to encroach on the admittedly sizeable niche that they have carved. Here are my top five social media predictions for 2010;

1.The Facebook Juggernaut Rolls on

Facebook is now so ubiquitous, so ingrained in the everyday lives of people across the world, that it is hard to imagine life without it. Of course many would have said the same thing about MySpace in its heyday, but Zuckerburg’s online empire is so much more forward thinking, business friendly and seemingly future proof that it is far better equipped to withstand the sands of time. New features like Deals and Email will only increase its dominance.

2. Location Comes to the Fore (Square)

If you can excuse that terrible pun, I’m sure you’ll agree that location-based social media entered the public consciousness in 2010, if not with the original trail blazer, Foursquare, then certainly with Facebook Places. I expect the public’s appetite for geo-location services to grow in the coming year, with concerns about privacy being quelled by ‘deals’ which will becoming the lifeblood of and driving force behind the widespread use of location-based social media.

3. Photo Blogging Takes Off

The widespread use of Smart phones means that the coupling of a camera and high speed internet connection in one device would inevitably lead to the rise of photo blogging. iPhone apps like Instagram make this a reality, providing a neat little platform whereby users can take photos, add effects and post their efforts to Twitter and Facebook.

4. Quora Breaks Through

Quora is a question and answer service, much like Yahoo answers, but, well… Much better! Just like LinkedIn connects professionals with similar interests and aspirations, Quora brings together askers and answers, tied together in a neat, social platform that encourages interaction. Users can follow subjects that people are asking questions about, a similar model to that of Twitter where individuals are followed. This could be the next Wikipedia.

5. Mobile is Mobilized

Smart phones will saturate the mobile market in 2011; this only means one thing, an increased amount of social networking being conducted through mobiles. This opens up new opportunities for location and photo-based apps such the aforementioned Foursquare and Instagram, as well as Gowalla, Bizzy and Shopkick. QR codes and readers will also become used more as shoppers look to find the best deal around using their mobile.

If you thought 2010 was a big year for social, just wait ‘til you see what 2011 has in store, the big players will retain their crowns and continue to innovate, but expect to see startups and new concepts filtering into mainstream usage as social media further permeates personal lives and business ventures.

Joe is a social media blogger for a van leasing firm who are currently offering deals on a car breakdown kit.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by ?Ä??Å – Free Photographer

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