Earlier this year Facebook 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, Time provides 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.
This is an idea which seems too good to be true and putting it in the direct firing line with other big players in the payment app world such as Square, Apple Pay and even PayPal. Sure Facebook Pay will be free of charge in its inception, but it’s quite doubtful it will remain free. I suppose everyone is going to have to wait and see how the events unfold, however the team at Facebook are no fools and they know a good opportunity for growth when they see one.
2. There will be new social networks appearing. Will they be successful? We’ll see.
Attempting to make it big in the social networking world is not uncommon. 2014 was no stranger to several new niche social networks attempting to be better than some of it’s bigger and stronger competitors.
Promising the things that people kind of want to see in social networks, such as not collecting your data and selling it to advertisers, that kind of thing. Hello Ello. YikYak making promises of anonymity and TSU promising to share ad revenue with its users.
Nobody really wants their details sold to advertisers, but how can we really be sure that such networks are going to take off? This uncertainty is a challenge that even some of the big contenders such as Google+ face. Although Google+ has been around for a while, their user base isn’t of the strongest out there. So thus concluding that the only way to really be successful in the social media sphere is to meet a niche or a special interest group, you’re more likely to stand a fighting chance. Some examples are Foodie and Fitocracy.
3. Shop while you social media
Yes, it’s as dangerous as that. 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.
Targeting receptive social media navigators with time sensitive deals to buy their products, these guys are so crafty they even keep your billing details on file making it hugely convenient for you.
If you’re a little volatile or click happy, use with caution. You’ve been warned!
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 they’re only going to get smarter.
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!