The Future Of Social Media – Part IV: Let’s Be Friends

What could possibly be next?  If you look at a typical Facebook news feed or Twitter stream, the riveting information you will find is staggering.  Here are some, ahem, interesting tweets:

Cover of "The Truman Show (Special Collec...

Cover via Amazon

  • omg I so wish I was there!!!
  • you ever cried off some chaka khan??
  • Enjoying the world of fantastic food at jack’s place!!!
  • i hardly ever use my scrolly thing on the side…*random*
  • i wish people would stop tryn to make everyone feel bad for them keep your emotions to self I hate people that make you feel bad for them!

These are actual tweets from actual tweeters.  Does this type of wisdom add value to the world?  If you personally know theses people, the information could be interesting.  For the vast majority of us, however, it is not.  Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder when it comes to social networking.  The things that make some of us roll our eyes and dismiss services like Twitter are the very things that make them powerful.

I recently watched The Truman Show.  It’s been a while since I’d seen the movie.  The Truman Show is a film, one that was nominated for and won several big awards.  I was struck by the possibilities.  The older the movie gets, the more plausible its premise becomes.  Some of us have already created our own personal Truman Show.  Is this the future of social networking?  Will we all wear cameras around our neck that track our every move?  I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility.  Watch this video from TED; it’s pretty amazing.

So what’s next in the buddysphere?  We are in a world of specialization.  We all want relevance.  We’ll get it in the most targeted of places.  For instance:

Mobile Phones

  • Quite possibly the holy grail of social networking
  • Technology improves the possibilities
  • Kids today grow up with phones — they don’t know a life without them
  • The iPhone app store model continues to grow

Twitter Style

  • The next generation Twitter apps allow us to become  more closely connected
  • Content and/or subject specific lists become specific and targeted
  • There will be an ability to send video and images along with messaging
  • GPS integration makes Twitter a more effective one-to-one tool

Facebook

  • Digital hub
  • Base of operations for interfacing with other apps and services
  • Commerce platform
  • Facebook becomes THE aggregator of social networking

Email Marketing

  • Continues to flourish
  • Relevance becomes even more important
  • Consolidation of email providers streamlines delivery requirements
  • Recipient interaction becomes THE key to reputation

Specialized Services

  • Specialized sites for music, sports, shopping, technology, dating, pop culture, travel, and job searching are categories with excellent opportunities
  • These sites offer the ability to meet and interact with more people with the same interests

There are many other areas we could also talk about.  I believe blogging will continue to flourish and become the premiere content for searches.  Our social networking will extend into non-traditional devices like our TV’s and cars.  This past week, Verizon FIOS added Facebook and Twitter integration.  I can certainly see services such as Twitter and Foursquare pairing with in-car navigation services like Onstar.

The Truman Show is becoming a self-induced and welcomed reality.  It will certainly be fun to watch it all unfold.

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