What about the future of social media?
So, what about it?
As you may have noticed, social media is customizing communication more than ever. We can’t communicate like we used to.
The social networks today allow us to personalize more and more our communication. A good example are the Facebook Ads: you can target an ad for a specific population. This was unthinkable before.
The other revolution of social networks is the speed of communication: you want to say something and spread it? You can do it now, the second after thinking it.
This is now. But what about tomorrow ?
The trend of social media is : personalization. You may have seen those ads that are intended especially for you: you can see “[your first name], try our new product”. If bots can allow that today, what can they do tomorrow?
So, in my opinion, social media is going to be more and more focused on the individual, not the mass. It is now targeting specific audiences, but tomorrow it will be addressed to you personaly.
This reminds me of the movie Minority Report, based on Philip K. Dick’s book. You can see the hero, played by Tom Cruise, walking around, and some ads are opening up on his way, saying hello to him specifically.
Of course, what I’m talking about is something less creepy than a chip that trace your every move and knows when to send you an ad (people who know the story of the movie will understand). But it’s not that far from it: for instance, you’re a woman, you liked a Facebook page of a brand of shoes, you looked at some boots a few hours back, and you can see the ad on Facebook about them.
Tomorrow ? If you’re a woman, you liked a Facebook page of a brand of shoes, you’ve mentioned in a post that blue is your favorite colour, and you’ve order some other shoes before (so they know your size): I’m sure a bot will be able to send you a personalized ad where you’ll see a pair of blue shoes in your size, of your favorite brand, and you’ll just have to click (just one click) to order them. Only one click, because, of course, they have your name and address. You may have to enter your credit card number, if you didn’t save it.
A powerful tool
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is: social media is a powerful tool. It can be very helpful — you contact a brand online because you have a problem, it is solved in an hour — but it can be a bit scary too — you feel like someone is spying on you, even though it’s “just” bots collecting data.
On the other hand, we see another trend in social media: quality is more and more important. In the flood of information, people are more and more sensitive to the quality of the information. Communication, especially online, is more and more complicated: you have to stand out from the crowd to be visible.
I believe that communication and social media are going to be more and more targeted, more and more personalized. I feel like it’s a very useful but also very dangerous road we’re on. It’s up to us to make it great and not bad.
What about you, where do you think social media is going?