The social media business is one of the most promising industries to be in right now. Gaining hundreds of millions of new users by the year, almost everything is connected to social networks in some or other way. If you’re looking to build one without making rookie mistakes, then you must take into account what the future looks like. So what does the future hold for social media apps? Here are some speculations based on ongoing trends.
As Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable, rightly said, “Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun”. Data privacy has increasingly started to become a myth as data is the new oil in this Age of Information. There are many incidents of cybercrimes involving identity theft, cyber espionage, cyber snooping, cyberstalking, mass surveillance of data by intelligence agencies, large organizations, and the government, and so on. People feel like they’re constantly being watched and they’re not wrong. The future calls for more trustworthy platforms with tools such as end-to-end encryption, open architecture, and web-of-trust techniques. The one thing that’ll make you stand apart is if you offer more privacy and data security.
AI-driven algorithms are to become the norm. AI offers more user-personalized experiences and helps create meaningful interactions between users and brands. AI also helps with creating smarter filters to funnel the growing content so that users need not keep searching for relevant content and it is provided to them readily daily. Smarter tools like relevant content recommendations on Netflix, personalized shopping on Amazon, enhanced search results on Google, etc would be seen. AI can also help track human behavior by studying people’s online activity patterns and also uses sentiment-detection tools which could be great for curbing cybercrimes and inappropriate content. Thus, integrating AI into your platform would aid in decreasing the chances of failure by providing curated content and smart optimization tools.
The digital audience is shifting from the web to increasingly using mobile phones. Around 4.57 billion people use the internet over their mobiles. Smartphone usage has dramatically increased over the years as people have drifted from using the web to mobiles due to cheap data rates, affordability, and ease of use and user-friendly digital infrastructure and interface and due to its ready accessibility at anytime and anywhere. Thus, the world is becoming mobile-centric and a mobile-first approach seems to be the best way to go to enhance the reach of your platform shortly.
As per the Mobility Report, “Video currently stands out as the most significant traffic type consumed by smartphone users”. Videos are expected to be responsible for 80% of the global internet traffic by 2020. Videos are extremely appealing and one of the best marketing tools. They are short, funny, eye-capturing, and easy to remember, and known to help 90% of customers in making purchase decisions. A good commercial could increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%. Tools for video content creation, like stories, different video formats such as live streaming and vlogging, animation, and text-editing features are very popular.
Photos have also become a very popular way of expressing and posting content because of all the fun filters, mood and light settings, and other editing mechanisms. Photos are easily digestible and anyone can become a photographer as every phone is now equipped with a high-quality camera. So integrating all video and photo-friendly features into your social media platform would prove to be even more beneficial as not all networks provide all features, introduce something better into the market.
AR and VR provide enjoyable real-life experiences in the comfort of your room. They bring exciting outside-world experiences into your home in just a flash. It is quite a new market but is being highly sought-after and mobile AR is expected to approach a 3.5 billion installed bases by 2022. Creating an AR and VR-friendly platform will help provide the most amazing and best user experiences.
50% of all online searches are likely to be audio or visual by 2020 itself. Virtual voice assistants could be the reason why typing will become obsolete. Google’s mobile device voice search has now over 100 languages in use and its RankBrain tool claims to have 95% precision. Voice technology has evolved immensely and any text can be converted into narrations in proper human-like voices, also with the addition of sound effects, tones and emphasis and even changing of voices and languages. Visual searches are the quickest and most easily understood. It’s like an “I see it, I like it, I want it” scene. This is all possible because of image recognition technology and AI. AI-driven visual systems can easily see, interpret, take visual cues, and search through the data and retrieve relevant results. Enabling these systems into your platform would really and truly set it apart from the existing ones.
So this is the vision for what the future has in store for social media networks. Most of the above-mentioned things are already on the path of becoming a reality. Building a social network without mistakes is not going to be easy, but keeping a check on these technology trends and working to make them a part of your network would do wonders to create your successful one. Amid all the increasing cyber crimes, let’s strive to make the future of social media a more pleasant, advanced, and all-inclusive one!