Developers are becoming social… The fastest growing areas of digital in 2011 were social media and mobile platforms. Mobile technology has always been at the centre of how people communicate and keep in touch whether it is via text, email, call, and more recently increasingly via social network. Mobile internet is set to surpass desktop activity by as soon as 2014, and it is undeniable that the seemingly never ending rise of social media and desire of just about everyone to amass their online presence is helping to drive this mobile revolution.
Today more than ever that people want to be sociable and to interact with their friends, and so the clear progression that we are seeing is to integrate and encompass social into as many areas of everyday life as possible, a move that is made far simpler, and from which mobile technology and apps will benefit greatly from.
So with this all in mind what does 2012 hold for social media and mobile marketing?
Over half of social network site usage will be via mobile. Smartphones allows us extra depth into personalisation – we are now able to share anything, anytime, anywhere, optimising the concept of “real time” sharing.
Mobile applications will become increasingly social. All of the most successful new mobile apps will be deeply integrated with social networks allowing you to share and engage more than ever before.
Social gaming via mobile will break through. Gaming on social networks and mobile devices will become integrated. The likes of Zynga and EA’s Farmville, Sims & Texas Hold’em that have already engulfed the likes of Facebook and will soon be playable on mobile devices.
Live TV influenced by social networks. TV shows which are hosted live will react to user interactions such as votes, suggestions, etc. via real time feedback from social networks. While this may seem less “mobile relevant”, when you consider the capacity for users to watch TV via their devices on the move and that over 73% of mobile users are fiddling with their devices whilst watching TV you begin to see the relationship.
Social commerce will thrive on mobile devices. The partnership between eBay and Facebook will revolutionise social and ecommerce. Facebook’s mobile platform and Open Graph language will enhance social commerce including the ability to purchase direct from your account and based upon your friends recommendations.
On a similar note we are likely to see a rise in the use of NFC chips within mobile handsets. These Near Field Communication chips are a convenient technology that enables users to connect, react and share, and that form the integration of Oyster cards, and loyalty programs in mobile devices.
Online news will become more social. News websites will gradually be replaced by applications integrated with social media such as Facebook’s Open Graph. More and more people will be reading news from their dedicated applications such as Washington Post Social Reader and we will take in a great deal of recommendations from what our friends are reading.
Location based services will get more coverage. Perhaps the key to social is the “real time factor”. More and more people will be “checking in”, and location based apps will play a prominent role in marketing strategies.
Social Media will massively influence mobile local search optimisation. Following on from the increased coverage of location based content, vendors and service providers are queuing up to stake a claim in the still tiny but booming local mobile search market.
Local search ad revenues are expected to pass the $150 Million levels by 2013. Search giants Yahoo and Google appear to be combining social media and interaction technology into apps on far grander scale than ever before. According to recent news both of the search giants have submitted different patents that are based on “social network vitality information”, going as far as to take into consideration the location of the mobile device, a time of day, an event, information from the mobile user’s calendar, past behaviour of the mobile user, weather, social networking data, aggregate behaviours, and information about proximity of a social contact.
Whatever springs up between social and mobile this year it is sure to have a noticeable effect. All the signs point towards deeper integration of the two technologies at the forefront of the digital industry and it will be interesting to see where they go to next.