2015 will see some big changes in social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Earlier this year Facebook had lost nearly one third of it’s users, people speculated this would be the end of its days, however, recent reporting reveals that Facebook has seen a record growth. In the third quarter of 2013 Facebook made nearly $2.96 billion in ad revenue and added nearly 100 million new users. What exactly does this go to prove?
It proves that social media data is unpredictable. However, here’s a sneak peak at things we might be able to expect in 2015:
1. Facebook will offer a payment feature
If this app is to be activated, you will be able to pay your friends using the Facebook Messaging app, just through adding your debit or credit card information. Not only is this app incredibly handy, it will also be free of charge.
Facebook already has an autofill feature to allow users t save their credit card information onto Facebook so that they can readily use it with the 450,000 already existing e-commerce merchants across the internet.
This step up in technology is putting Facebook in competition with other payment apps such as Apple Pay, Square and even PayPal. In the present plans this extension of Facebook’s services will be free of charge, however, it is unlikely to remain that way forever. We will have to see what happens, however this is a great opportunity for further growth in Facebook.
2. There will be new social networks appearing. Will they be successful? We’ll see.
2014 saw several new niche social networks attempting to right the shortcomings of existing social networks come and go. You know? Making promises not to collect our data and sell it to advertisers, that kind of thing, hello Ello. YikYak making promises of anonymity and TSU promising to share ad revenue with its users.
YikYak making promises of anonymity and TSU promising to share ad revenue with its users
Will these types of social networks take off? This is a big challenge for many social networks, including Google+, even though they have been around a while they’ve really struggled attracting a sufficient user base. It seems that these types of thing are a dime a dozen and special interest social networks are more likely to stand a better chance. Some examples are Foodie and Fitocracy.
3. Shop while you social media
Both Twitter and Facebook have begun beta-testing a “buy button“, this feature will allow users to buy without even leaving the respective social network. You can definitely expect these integrations in 2015.
The plus side for businesses here is that customers will be easy to attract as social media users are a receptive audience. If these networks have our billing details on file, this will make for an extremely quick transaction. This is especially effective for short term deals and time sensitive offers as well as beneficial for advertisers who will be able to obtain solid revenue figures attached to specific social media sites.
This could be dangerous for all those click happy consumers out there.
4. Smart devices getting more social
That smart watch you’re wearing, it’s collecting your data and sending it out to the internet. Not only that, some of these devices may be pushing notifications to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other networks. It’s scary, right? What’s scarier, is that it’s not likely to stop in 2015.
Smart devices may even be getting smarter. Being better integrated with social media and thus improving their social intelligence. Your smart fridge is going to know about that dinner party you’ve posted on facebook, they’re going to know you have 6 people attending, and it will send you a reminder to go out and buy more beer.
By using social media to this effect, our activities and interactions will be tracked and used accordingly.
5. Social Media Privacy
Oh the numerous platforms that have tried to offer us some privacy to do what we please without someone keeping tabs on us… Nobody really wants their personal information sold to advertisers, or accessed by government agencies.
Though in theory this is great, the “privacy” of some of these networks could be considered questionable. For instance Snapchat, they have been hacked several times leaking peoples photos on the internet. Another case is Whisper who have openly admitted to storing data and compiling information in a searchable database.
There is an increasing demand for privacy and anonymity online and it’s proven difficult to achieve. Whether or not 2015 sees changes in this is yet to be seen.
It seems that the big players in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are rapidly adapting to the changes in the social media landscape by offering new services to address the growing concerns with privacy as well as joining forces with the bigger brands.
Being able to store your payment details on Facebook in order to transfer money to a friend for free is definitely something I would consider using.
Am I concerned about my personal information being sold? Well, I won’t say I’m thrilled about it but I’m not particularly worried either.
What are your thoughts on the idea of Facebook Pay? How about being able to shop with such ease?
Or perhaps you would like to voice some of your concerns about privacy?
We would love to hear it, please share your thoughts in our comments!