2010 Online Predictions – Part 2: Social Media

Twitter Over CapacityDisclaimer: these predictions are not entirely the belief of SEO.com as an organization, or the people that work for SEO.com. These predictions are speculated and completely FUN, and more importantly, if you look hard enough between the lines, you’ll find some good “nuggets” for the upcoming year’s social media strategy.

Feel free to view Part 1 of my 2010 Predictions: Search Engines.

The World of Social Media

What We Know-

• Twitter and Facebook dominate the scene, but Twitter has no revenue stream while Facebook becomes the dominating force in Social.
• Twitter and Facebook have become the way people share information, and it is affecting social bookmarking sites such as Digg.
• Twitter has redefined the way people communicate and the way search engines determine what is popular.

What We Suspect-

• Twitter seems to have reached its potential, and is going to be hard pressed to grow any further in its current form.
• In order for Facebook to retain, and increase users, keep an eye out for a completely redefined “Group” option, or a vertical-ization of a new public section.
• It will be a shock if Twitter isn’t acquired by a larger company by the end of 2010

How Will it Happen?

(Facebook Prepares for Dominance)

One of the most important things we’ll see happen between Twitter, Facebook and upcoming Social Media like Foursquare, is definition. Social media sites will define their purpose, their existence, and their unique selling position (USP) this year.

Facebook is currently one of the strongest ways to advertise to targeted demographics and markets, while Twitter is the best way to “listen in” and distribute news, and information to the masses. As Twitter and Facebook start to better define their USP, corporate America should become more comfortable in developing marketing strategies with social media in 2010.

The first thing that will come with social media “definition” is a mutual goal with Twitter and Facebook. Both entities will make sure users understand that Facebook is not Twitter, and Twitter is not Facebook. The general public will learn and understand they are not the same thing, and there are benefits for using both mediums. By making this point clear to users, both companies should see an increase in users and interaction between users. I predict that the two companies will embrace each other, and incorporate each others’ strength. There is no better way to do this than with an official partnership, or even a merger. (As a side note, “TwitFace” could become Google’s worst nightmare.)

If Facebook (being the bigger fish in the pond) doesn’t take Twitter to be its lawfully wedded partner, then I predict that we will see some big changes for Facebook coming in the ways of “Group” and vertical-ization of a new public profile option.

Facebook’s next direction (in my humblest of opinions) needs to focus on having an option for “like- minded” strangers to connect without giving away the farm, personal family info, embarrassing photos of you that your jackass friend put up. The reason the current “fan pages” don’t work is because there is no seamless interface between you and your fan page. If this all comes to fruition then I strongly believe that we will see Twitter slowly suffer. Facebook would have serious leverage in providing and developing real-time search (RTS) abilities with the new public profile option (all enhanced by the Friendfeed acquisition), in addition to having the ability to connect complete strangers with similar interests.

Twitter will be the most vulnerable company that 53M+ users can’t live without, simply because it makes no money. Again, if a partnership can’t come together with Facebook, then the next logical option would be for Internet King Google to buy up the company so they could strictly control the RTS scene. And Google already has rumors circulating that they are interested. We will then see the most famous tweet of all time from @mattcutts: “What? It was either buy Twitter or create Gtweet.”

THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media War: Facebook bans all Twitter language from status updates because it only comes across as gibberish to non-Twitter users.

THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook develops a Twitter translator that will automatically translate Twitter language into readable phrases for non-Twitter users to better understand. In addition Facebook will create a “Gaming Facebook Platform” so I don’t have to know what happens to your Farm or Mob family. Just sayin’…

This post was brought to you by the help of many at SEO.com. Here is a big shout out to Dan Bischoff, Dan Patterson, Rick Hardman, Ash Buckles, Scott Cowley and let’s not forget Mike Benson or Robyn Storms.

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10 Comments

  1. csjoe says

    Nice article, grats!

    I think “The sure thing that will happen to social media” is getting bigger and better :)

  2. Brent Rangen says

    You have 20% of all internet users (not sure if it is US or World) doing online status updates.

    That number will increase. If Twitter isn’t careful, they could easily run the ‘real’ users off and be left with a marketing tool that kinda makes you feel dirty.

    I think the worst thing that could happen would be ads in the stream and I would not even mind if it a subscription service.

  3. Aji (SEOforClients.com/edu/) says

    Now I see Social Media to almost stable, Orkut came in and a lot of things started changing. Now people have graduated from Orkut to Facebook and they spend 1 to 2 hours every day checking what is happening with their friends, discuss various stuffs.

    The biggest surprise, they are coming and asking for new apps. So they want to use the power of community to do better things. Some of FB apps are mind blowing, absolutely mind blowing (in terms of value addition)

    We ran FB ads, much effective that Google adwords (for this product, which is targeting parents), much cheaper than Google content ads :).

    Twitter, FB , Blog doesn’t matter, what matters is that everyone is raising their voice on web, loud enough that others can hear. So it is a connected world things really fast.

    Best Regards,
    Aji Issac

  4. Marie Leonard says

    I know social media is important to many marketers and that a lot of people are involved that way. Although there may be a friendly war going on between Facebook and Twitter, one thing I know for sure is that it is surpassing everyone’s expectations.

  5. Samson says

    yeah just like cell phones maxed out after the ‘business crowd’ had one.

    basically everyone will have a facebook and twitter account eventually. much like basically everyone has a cell phone now. they will both continue to grow exponentially.

  6. Malmborg says

    @Aji – I actually talk about Mobile Web and Mobile Search in Part 1 of my predictions. I think you would agree with what I have to say.

    @Samson – I hear where you are coming from, but 5 years ago we would have said the same thing about MySpace… then a guy named Zuckerberg introduced Facebook.

  7. Joey says

    I am so glad that I found this post and it is being talked about. I really don’t think people understand yet just how powerful social media is and will continue to be. The one problem I see is that people are abusing it. Social media is all about building relationships and getting to know people. Not to spam and pitch your biz opp all over the place.

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