December 23, 2009

Crystal ball social media predictions + Facebook Memology

Here’s a short, punchy approach to trend forecasting, with a nod to Twitter’s 140 characters format.

TrendsSpotting Market Research has just published a slideshare presentation that presents 140 character forecasts from a number of industry people with more than one eye on the social media space.

Two trends surface among the multitude of predictions: businesses and companies will integrate social media into the everyday fabric of how they do business and engage customers. Fair enough. No real surprises there.

The second prediction is a bit more controversial. A number of people point to a shrinking of online communities into small, gated, closed networks.

As Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs, says: “I see velvet rope social networks, where some kind of gating to keep out the commons will occur.”

Social media has always thrived on the appeal of joining and belonging to groups and wearing badges to display membership, but customisation and exclusivity is something new altogether. Are ring fenced online communities in the spirit of open, transparent groups?

Have a look at the slideshow below and let us know what you think.

Separately, I love Facebook’s approach to year-end lists – a chart of its top status trends or Facebook Memology.

Top of the pile is Facebook Applications, driven by the ridiculously popular Farmville. The Farmville app now boasts more than 72m active users around the world, having only launched in June. That’s more members than Twitter in just six months.

Many of these social media predictions are probabilities, but if there’s one certainty for 2010; it’s that Facebook will get more sophisticated and people will spend more time on the platform.

It’s no a brainer that the ability to conceptualise and build engaging apps and pages for brands on Facebook is becoming an increasingly important competitive edge for advertisers and agencies alike.

View more documents from Taly Weiss.