Philip Ellis
News & Views
Hey Nostradamus! Predicting Social Trends For 2013

It’s been a long and eventful year in the world of memes, media and marketing. Facebook unveiled Timeline and managed to yet again redefine social media campaigns in the process, the entire planet turned its attention to London over the summer for the 2012 Olympic Games, Apple released the iPhone (to a rather mixed reception), and everyone started living life “Gangnam style“. Now we’re nearly at the finish line. Sure, there’s that pesky Mayan prophecy still hanging over the last few weeks of 2012, but here at OgilvyDo we’re optimistic. So what better time to look forward, and start planning for 2013? Below are a few pointers for the coming months (that is, assuming the world doesn’t end).

Mobile is only going one way, and that’s up. One of the more memorable social media moments of 2012 was Facebook’s disappointing at best (and appalling at worst) initial public offering in May, which saw share prices plummet by almost 50%. In September, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg came back fighting. He had everything to prove, both to investors and to the general public – and he made a pretty good case for Facebook. The future of the company, he told the packed-to-the-rafters audience at TechCrunch Disrupt, is in mobile devices. Since then, Facebook’s mobile advertising revenue has been on the rise.

But the role of mobile technology in 2013 transcends mere advertising. The US Presidential Election highlighted the extent to which individuals use their smartphones. Browsing, shopping and networking now all take place literally in the palm of one’s hand, and companies look set to capitalise on that in the coming year, with more and more organisations focusing on mobile website and app development. Top dogs at eBay has even instructed its team to “think mobile first”, adding credence to the popular notion that mobile and tablet devices will soon overtake traditional desktop computers entirely.

Expect greater diversity of content. As mentioned in our recent Espresso article, The Golden Rule Of Content Marketing, consumers are used to devouring content in all manner of forms, including text, graphics and videos. As this becomes more of a deeply ingrained habit, publishers will be required to meet the demand. 2013 may also be the year that 4G attains widespread use, meaning quicker and more powerful mobile internet access, and propagating even more complex and interactive content.

The neglected networks need to up their game. 2013 will be a critical year for Yahoo. The one-time king of search appointed Google alumna Melissa Mayer in June, and it will be interesting to see what impact her leadership will have on the struggling brand. Google Plus will also celebrate its second birthday next year, and if we’re lucky it will finally stop grumbling that it has no friends and actually figure out its purpose.

What are your hopes and expectations for 2013? Personally, I just can’t wait to hear Psy’s follow up to “Gangnam Style”.

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