‘If Facebook was a country, it will be fourth largest in the world’. Such is the volume and usage of social networking sites among organizations. While some companies use Linkedin to find prospective employees,
others use Twitter or other social network to capture new customers. The potentials of social networks have become clear to companies, and thus is the adoption of multiple social networks by organizations for purposes ranging from collaboration to promotion of their brands. Here, we take a look at some of the upcoming trends and technologies in social networking, and how is Web 3.0 going to change the landscape.
While it’s hard to predict what the future of Web would look like, one thing is apparent. Today you don’t need a PC or a laptop to browse Web. Browsers have reached almost everywhere -right from mobile devices to gaming consoles (Wii and PS3) to even television. Even in places where there is no browser (as yet) such as Xbox360, Twitter and Facebook have already made their way to. New firmware of PS3 also as Facebook. Social networking vendors are making sure that you can access them from where you are, without needing a computing device.
One of the key reasons why microblogging got so popular so quickly has been that, the vendors in the space have targeted mobile users since beginning. They realized that, for a person to fully utilize the power of social networking, he should be able to update his microblogs from anywhere and at anytime. Even today majority of Twitter usage comes from mobile devices.With social networks leveraging mobile devices more and more, location based social networking is also gaining momentum. In a research done last year by ABI Research, location based social networking is expected to be a $3.3 billion market by 2013.
Twitter would be launching geo-tweets very soon, which will allow users to embed their location with their tweets. Similarly a company called PhotoWALL displays real-time media streams (or WALLs) by presenting live
media precisely when it happens. It allows mobile users to send live photos along with various geo-tags and VoiceTags to an attractive searchable website for public, network or private viewing. It also enables simultaneous live uploading of mobile media to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Location based social networking also opens a whole new range of possibilities such as location based advertising, finding like-minded people who are near to you, recommending places to friends, finding reviews what people around you have to say about a particular place or product, etc.
Television is mostly enjoyed to its fullest, when it’s watched with friends and family. And one can’t always be around friends or like minded people to fully enjoy a show or game. But now things are starting to change, TV is not only going interactive but is also getting social. There are quite a few models starting to come in this area. Orange has tied up with Twitter to improve Twitter experience for its mobile, Internet and TV users. As part of the deal, Twitter will be integrated into Orange’s IPTV platform and Twitter feeds will run alongside programs to create an interactive environment. Another approach that is coming up is in the form of Social TV widgets or just TV widgets. Verizon’s FiOS TV already provides Facebook and Twitter widgets to its subscribers. Also earlier this year, Yahoo! tied with Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio to provide TV widgets for their televisions sets, popularly known as Yahoo connected TV. Similarly there are companies who are offering software that bring social networking to set top boxes.
A slightly different example is Clikthrough (www.clikthrough.com), which makes watching videos online even more interactive. Videos hosted on the website have ‘hotspots’; if someone clicks on the hotspots, they can view information like comments made by others about that video, products used in the video, people present in the video, etc. You can even add the product in your wishlist.