Social Media Projections 2011

I liked this from Trevanian Legg – the owner Nigel Legg is pictured above – don’t know if he’s right or not – what do you think?

* Twitter will go mainstream.
I’m surprised that, with around 150 million users and over a thousand tweets a second, according to PEW Research only 6% of the adult US population are on twitter. The total usage number is only around 20% of the total figure for Facebook (currently estimated at around 570 – 600 million users, depending on who you believe), so this combination of data suggests that in other parts of the world Twitter is already close to being mainstream, and I believe it will soon catch up.

* Facebook growth will slow.
A point will be reached, probably in the next year, where the growth of facebook – currently estimated at 700,000 new users PER DAY – will slow, as there just aren’t enough people left for that kind of growth to carry on for much longer. Of course, a massive increase in internet access in poorer countries where it is currently limited could delay this.

* Diaspora will be forgotten.
The huge network effect of so many people using Facebook will outweigh the privacy concerns that lead to the development of Diaspora over the summer, and very soon the open-source system will be forgotten, going the same way as Google Wave.

* Facebook places will make Foursquare and Gowalla relegated to irrelevance.
Facebook Places, the social network’s location based service, will be rolled out to users and, through sheer weight of numbers, make existing services, such as Foursquare and Gowalla, irrelevant. The huge size of Facebook will mean they can attract better deals and more development work, thus making it more attractive for people to use their service.

* Social Media Monitoring will be replaced by Social Media Research.
Increasing demand from the C-Suite for confirmation that Social Media demands attention will lead to increased complexity of work required to provide the data required. At the same time, the ever growing numbers using social media in all it’s forms will mean that using social media as a data source for providing the vital insights a business needs will increase in value. Both of these will lead to a growing professionalisation of the monitoring / research role within corporations, and an associated development of specialist companies dedicated to carrying out social media research for their clients.