A leap into the future of social media



What social media has in store in 2012

If you read our latest article, you recall that the topic covered was what were the big events that marked social media in 2011. Well, this time, we are taking a leap into the future to check out what are some of the innovations that social media has in store for us in 2012.

1. Social media in the “real world”
Social media will take up more space in what can be described as the real world. An example of integrating social media into the outside happened this past Christmas in Toronto. A 30 foot tree dubbed the Christmas Spirit Tree, was adorned in 30 000 LED lights that reacted to the positive Christmas vibes people we’re sending across social media sites. Each social media platform (Facebook, Twitter or blogs),made the tree light up in different colors as the system created to control it reacted to over 50 Christmas themed key words that were pulled from various social media sites. We can expect a lot more of these social media integrations in 2012.

2. Social media influence
Everyone has an opinion. The fact that pretty much everyone in the world is connected to one social media site or another is proof of that. In 2012, everyone’s opinion, or rather, their influence, will matter. You might think you don’t influence anyone by mentioning that you like something on your Facebook page, but you do. If you head over to a website like Klout, you will see in detailed numbers and equations how high or low your influence is on the social media that you are a part of. In 2012, businesses will try to develop tools and techniques that will make them the top ranking influence in their field of choice, and they will have the numbers to prove it.

3. The spreading of gamification

Video games have taken an impressive leap in the last few years from being exclusive to nerds and geeks to being everywhere, on phones, tablets and social media. That popularity will be explored in 2012 with what specialists are referring to as gamification. Game like qualities (achievements, top scores, leader boards, levelling up) will be found in a number of social media apps. For example, you might get a badge or points if you vote in 2012 and that will put you one step ahead of your peers on a social media leaderboard. Businesses are even thinking of implementing this system in the workplace. Who knows, maybe in 2012, you’ll be able to discuss your vacation time with your boss based on whether or not your rank is impressive on the company’s leaderboard.

4. Social media in search engine results
Search engines already give Internet users results that lead them to blogs or a company’s website, but in 2012, those search results will include social media statuses and updates. Therefore, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re wondering how the big hockey game finished last night, by doing a quick search on Google, you might be taken to a stranger’s Twitter page where the final scores of the game were tweeted.

Of course, these predictions are only the tip of the iceberg of what social media has in store for us in 2012. One thing is for sure, social media will have an important place in our lives in the coming year, even bigger than the one it had in 2011.

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