Social media companies and their all-conquering brands have begun to dominate our world over the last decade. Many of us are now addicted to our Twitter feed or slaves to Facebook posts and there’s no getting away from that, no matter what the context. However, with Twitter turning 8 this year and Facebook turning 10, it’s unlikely that when these two institutions began anyone could have predicted what today would look like for the social media revolution. As we look back at the relatively short amount of time it has taken for these two become mainstays of modern society, we’re also wondering what social media is going to be like a decade from now…

Predictions:

Everyone will be using it – and we don’t just mean ‘everyone’ as in ‘all the cool kids’ or anyone who knows anything about social media marketing, but everyone. Expect to wish your Nan a happy birthday via Twitter and to be joining work Facebook groups populated by every single one of your co-workers.

Integration will increase – this is integration in terms of personal and business worlds, as well as virtual and reality. We will start doing more in the digital sphere and the digital sphere will start being a control point for more of our reality, including social media sources. Communication is also likely to become far more digital, with conversations switching to channels like WhatsApp. The traditional separation between personal and business social media usage will gradually merge with more openness and online sharing until there is no difference between the two.

Social media will become a real skill – as social media management becomes more valuable to business it will be further outsourced to those who have the experienced and knowledge to make it effective. Specialist social media agencies will become the norm and it’s likely that it will become more challenging to successfully engage in Facebook marketing or Twitter marketing without this expertise at your back (and we’re not just saying that because it’s our area of expertise…).

The visual side will continue to boom – the fodder of social media was traditionally words, as in status updates and tweets. However, the trend we are seeing more of now is that of visuals – for example, Twitter recently introduced photos into the feed, rather than having to click on a link, which was previously the case. This, of course, means investment in bespoke visual media and a solid understanding of copyright implications.

These are just a few of the predictions for the way in which social media is likely to evolve in the (near) future. We can’t predict for certain, as the digital sphere continues to grow at such a rapid rate; however one thing is for certain, you certainly don’t want to be left behind in the digital race!