‘What next?’ Isn’t it the most happening, upbeat yet unsettling question of the modern times? Yes, indeed it is.
There is no point which could be collectively termed as the ultimate or final, as reaching a desired point means just a road sign towards the next. The popular American politics slogan “do more” marks the feel of this era.
The massive success of social media has forced people to consider its future. There have been many predictions trying to visualize what destiny has in the bet for it. The future of social media is still at large a matter of discussion among many.
Let’s gauge the future of social media and millions of users hooked to it.
• Shopping and Socializing:
Social media pundits are speculating an even better future for the social networking platforms as it is going to integrate more practical features than just socializing. We can definitely envision a future where facebook, twitter, groupon and /or other platforms collectively will be offering the facility of online shopping directly and friends can also virtually take part in our shopping sprees. I can see that almost happening with the advancements in Facebook and with the introduction of new open graph technology in F8 conference.
• Merging the Physical and Virtual:
There are no more phone calls or emails but status updates tracking down the current location and activities of people. The line between physical and virtual is expected to become fuzzier and blurred in the future. Social media will certainly become the ultimate platform to stay connected. Location based apps are syncing every move and every second. So, we can obviously expect a future where the concept of presentations, class rooms, phone calls and even mails would become vague in front of social media. And with the evolution of Facebook video calling started on 6th June, 2011, done with the integration of Skype, this concept is already being rolled into the due occurrence.
• Boomerang effect:
All the personal and professional data that we all have been feeding into different platforms channels will come back like a boomerang to channelize our needs according to our whims and wishes. So, the job that we have been doing for so long is expected to payback in the near future in a social manner via social media. In a near future, probably you won’t be required to apply with a copy of your CV or resume even a soft copy of it won’t be required while applying for a new job. LinkedIn already playing the upper hand in professional networking and job portal Monster jumping into Facebook with their ‘Be Known’ application we are already being touched by this concept I have discussed in this point.
• Social Changes:
Social media is having far reaching and eminent effects on our social behavior. It is changing the way we learn, educate, interact with people, emotions and the thought processes. Now comments on status updates can often lead to broken hearts and even divorce in severe cases. Classes leave status updates for students to track down the assignments. Social media presence is considered equivalent to being actually alive and same goes for the other way round. So obviously the near future of social media is going to decide our education systems, relationship and even ethos.
Social networking platforms have already worked wonders for many industries and hopefully it will continue to be a hub for the thriving businesses. Transforming into a multibillion dollar industry, it has provided great opportunities to many industries. Signs are that it will continue to work in the same vein. So, it is going to morph into the new business arena. If you have to sell anything then you have to make your presence felt at social media. And that’s why most of the big brands are already playing large with the social media.
• Return to the Oneness:
Like a holly oneness, these social networks are destined to unite, merging all identities into one. Apart from the Sufi element of these predictions, considering their dependence on each other they are most likely to melt into one. Facebook is already facing backlash for its privacy setting feud. Raising concerns about privacy issues are making people reconsider their alliance with Facebook. And its declining popularity makes it more vulnerable to such mergers, because at such a stage we are always sure to have bigger plans and actions so preceded. The current change like the introduction of TIMELINE is such a sign in the due process. The futuristic platform be it Facebook or Google+ or say something else will be more convenient, syncing all the data and providing secure social network services to clients.
• Entering into our Living Rooms:
Social media will surely merge out of computer screens and become part of our living rooms. Apple TV and Google TV are considered to such entities of immediate near future. The successful venture of YouTube has led to more interesting experiments like Bliptv, transmitting popular webseries. It can transform an ordinary teen like Justin Bieber into an overnight star. Now you don’t have to visit a TV station for audition as social media will do the job for you at home.
So, the question of ‘what next?’ simply continues. In my personal opinion, probably by after a decade or a period of around 50 years or so there would be a new age of social media where people would be experiencing a unified social networking platform with the access to almost everything ranging from simple social networking to even paying taxes and voting your representatives.