1) Smartphones will break the 75% penetration in the UK by June. Currently at 50-60% and with manufacturers actively forcing consumers this way, it’s not a question of if but how quickly. Wearable technology, self-quantification, connected devices and social networking will be the driving forces for time spent on devices.
2) 2013 will be the year of the Tablet wars, 2012 was just the launch. It’s almost certain everyone (but Apple) will be racing to the bottom of this market. Expect more focus on cameras, inter-connectivity and payment options (either through NFC or accessories like Square or iZettle) . The opportunities should excite (and terrify) business.
3) Project Glass will be an instant hit with developers but less so with the public – regardless it will launch by the close of 2013. Boundaries will instantly be pushed with regards to data, personal and corporate privacy. Bit of a mobile theme developing…
4) Foursquare will be bought by October. Facebook just struck it a death blow, aqui-hiring is on the rise, it’s too removed from the main players right now and every one of the main players already has a location-based element baked into a larger product. Time to think about selling and getting on to the next idea.
5) Facebook will regain the majority of its share value lost at IPO but it will continue to have a rocky ride. Ads need to become more intrusive in order to battle increased content from friends, groups and other brands in order to make this come true, that’s not likely to sit well with consumers unless the balance tips in their favour. Keep an eye on engagement stats on desktop and mobile to see the true health of any platform beyond making money, those users need to be happy with (or junkied to) a platform.
6) Google+ will double its active users to 300m by years end. Just releasing a major set of updates and some impressive numbers Google is set on shrinking services that don’t work or fit under the duvet of Google+. Expect more constriction of existing elements, increased YouTube integration and further Android expansion.
7) Big data will finally open up and become useful to the masses. Currently this trend is being banded about by those with access but relatively few are really benefiting from it. Health, online shopping and personal finance etc all have massive individual benefits to be gained but currently are not being seen.
8) Apple TV will announce but fail to make a huge splash until 2014. Whilst cord-cutting and new viewing options are both on the rise, design and inter-connectivity are key factors for the EA and influencer crowd.
9) Twitter will file to go public by June. 2014 will therefore be the bigger year for Twitter although recent news is interesting to see as the platform matures. Second-screen it appears is the only screen. Not a lot more to be said here, Twitter needs to decide what its raison d’être is – connecting you to your interests is good but can it go further? Should it? It’s likely, either way – more moves will be made to increase its own power and more external services will go bye-bye.
10) Social Commerce will come into its own in 2013 but outside of the networks. As brands increasingly make moves into the content sphere, options to buy “natively”, in a way that is authentic, will become key to success wherever the individual is.
BONUS! Real-time optimisation of advertising will rapidly emerge as the must-have for 2013. Agencies will launch tools, teams and solutions but it will still be early days and constant refining will be key to its success. How then to buy? Look at the data sets, the contracts for those data sets and then the people who will interpret the results.
There you go – some more surer bets than others but all certain to have/make it an interesting 2013. As everything increasingly becomes more interconnected (dependant?) the future is nothing if not mobile…