Saturday, January 01, 2011

Social Media Predictions in 2011

Last year I wrote a blog posting, Social Media Predictions in 2010, on New Year's Day 2010. Given that, it only makes sense that I review last year's predictions while offering several for 2011.

2010: Year in Review

2010's predictions consisted of the following:

  • Mobile News Apps will Gain Popularity
  • Mobile Usage Increases in 2010
  • Video Blogging Increases and Gains Popularity
  • E-mail will become more "Real-Time"
A few of my predictions for 2010 held true, while others did not. The success of the iPad, iPhone 4G and Droid X mobile devices was attributed to the growing popularity of apps. In fact, I recently switched from a Blackberry Storm ll to a Motorola Droid X based on the number of apps available. Numerous apps allowing consumers to view news content on their mobile devices became available this past year. 2010 holiday promotions for reading devices, such as the Amazon Kindle, illustrated consumers have an appetite for reading on the go.

Mobile usage increased in 2010, according to some sources.

News about Facebook beating Google in website traffic also revealed YouTube's popularity as a top five site, in terms of web traffic.

My prediction of e-mail becoming more "real time" dwindled with the short lifespan of Google Wave. All is not lost though. Video and e-mail are predicted to drive social media in 2011.

2010 Conclusion

Based on the above, my 2010 predictions were not a complete disaster. Perhaps my biggest oversight pertained to geolocation services. I did not include any prediction about geolocation services, despite website traffic to Foursquare increasing significantly. I made sure to redeem myself with a blog posting titled, "Intro to Geosocial Networking for Marketers" in April 2010.

Overall, 2010 was a year of mixed successes as it pertained to my social media predictions. Fortunately, I am not going to let that stop me from going out on a limb in 2011.

2011 Social Media Predictions:

2010 placed a lot of economic demands on people. It was no different in the social media landscape where Facebook battled Google to become the leading site for website traffic. The claim for most website traffic will continue throughout 2011, but I think Facebook will hold the title throughout 2011. This is largely due to the Facebook bringing out the best aspects of search, social media and marketing. Facebook's unveiling of E-mail should more than solidify its position as the leading site in 2011.

I have several other predictions, besides Facebook retaining the number one position for website traffic in 2011. These include the following:

  • Tumblr will emerge to help rejuvenate blogging; Twitter will need to modify its business model as a result - Tumblr .com is gaining website traffic at an alarming rate. It could overtake Twitter at some point in 2011. Several bloggers already point out why Twitter users should switch to Tumblr. Twitter will not being going away in 2011; however, it will need to modify its business model due to increased competition from social networks like Tumblr.
  • Mobile advertising spending will double in 2011 - It is estimated that total mobile advertising spending will reach $11-$20 billion. This is up from $6.5 billion in 2010. The advent of geolocation services in 2010 will further refine where mobile advertising dollars are spent.
  • Mobile photos will catch on - Ben Parr of published his own predictions for social networks in 2011. Among those include the growing popularity of mobile photos. Ben says, "While social photography is nothing new (Flickr and Facebook dominate), mobile photography is just beginning to blossom, thanks to apps like Instagram, PicPlz, Path, and Dailybooth. Other services like Tumblr, Gowalla, Posterous and most recently Foursquare are only pushing the trend further. 2011 will be the year mobile photo sharing becomes all the rage. These services will hit critical mass as smartphone users install apps in order to keep up with their friends."
I hope everyone likes my predictions. Hopefully a few of these will come to fruition. If not, I'll be here January 1, 2012 owning up to my miscalculations. And like many people, I'll be starting over. What are your predictions for social media in 2011? I'd love to hear.


Jacob Walsh said...

I think you're on the right track with the 2011 predictions. Actually, you weren't far off with the "real time" email in 2010. Facebook announced its upcoming Titan email project, which could be only a few months away from its beta version. Once that hits the scene I think we'll see a move toward real-time email.

Thanks for the in-bound link, btw! Best of luck in 2011!

MarketRMan said...


Thanks for the words of encouragement. Offhand, which site are you on? I'll add a formal link on my rollup list.


Daniel Johnson Jr said...

Facebook is trending toward real-time messaging. We used to have a separate section called Inbox and one called Chat. Now they all are grouped into Messages.

Eventually, we'll be able to get our own email address and be able to give that out to ppl not in the Facebook system. So all chats, Facebook email, and other email will reside within that Messages silo.

MarketRMan said...

Daniel, you make several good points here. I definitely see real-time message as the wave of the future. While real-time messaging could improve communication, it may hinder productivity. Personally, I hate getting an incoming message or e-mail every few minutes.

Ernest Warner said...

Not to be "Debbie Downer," but I think these "predictions" are current trends. I think there is an increase in usage in all these activities currently.

It is similar to pundits saying every year for the past few years, "this is the year of mobile." If anything I think there needs to be a re-definition of mobile because some people define mobile as text messaging, others define it as wi-fi and others define it as an app.

I like the open dialogue of where Facebook is with their messaging though.

Please keep sharing. We need more positive dialogue around emerging trends and predictions.

MarketRMan said...

Ernest, I agree that most of my predictions are trends that are underway. Unfortunately, they not fully underway. For instance, Tumblr is operational, but does not pass up Twitter in website traffic. Tumblr has a ways to go before it becomes mainstream. Additionally, I think it will affect Twitter's business model. Thanks for the comment. I hope to hear from you again.

Jacob Walsh said...

Thanks, Ron. Our blog is at

Speaking of social media, I recently wrote a post about RockMelt, which is a new social media browser. I think social browsers are another trend to look for in 2011. If you haven't taken a look at RockMelt or any of its competitors (e.g. Flock), you definitely should. RockMelt is still in its private beta version, so if you're interested in downloading let me know and I can hook you up with a direct download link.

White Label SEO said...

Social media measurements become visual as the year goes along. A further divide between Twitter and Facebook has now been showing. Facebook has become more about personal connections, while Twitter is more about business.

seo reseller said...

I think the only stable predictions on social media platforms like twitter and facebook is the fact that the traffic generating and transformed into cross media optimization strategies are still growing beyond 2011.

Man Ray said...

Well, I guess one of the predictions came true for 2011. Tumblr seems to be one of the preferences of bloggers during the first half of 2011.
SEO Reseller

MarketRMan said...

Man Ray,

Thanks for the comment. I'll make sure to follow-up on these predictions during my New Year's Day recap. Tumblr has had some success, but hasn't quite taken off the way I thought it would.