If any of you have tracked down the other blogs I manage, you may have noticed I’m not exactly stoked about the snow. It’s cold you guys. It’s really cold, and it’s signaling months we’re not in yet. It’s like its in the middle of an identity crisis and doesn’t know who it is anymore. The radio’s been telling it it’s Christmas since Halloween though, so I guess in all fairness I’d be a little confused to. If you know, I was a cloud and paid attention to that sort of thing.
And besides, there are other things I need to be paying attention to, as I sit in my four jackets, limbs scrunched together in a tight ball in a desperate ploy to conserve the maximum amount of warmth they provide. Specifically, the coming changes to social media.
We can all agree that it’s changed a lot, to the point that it can feel like it’s a television set that someone’s channel surfing, but there are some massive waves incoming that are promising a wild ride.
Seeing how we already have phone apps for most of the networks out there, social media’s already gotten into our pants, but now it’s going for our wallet from there. I half expect me to to edit that line out retrospectively, but what I’m getting at is that several places now want to be manage your money. Apple has introduced an Apple Pay app, Square and Stripe are trying to make waves, the seasoned Paypal of course, but now even Facebook is trying to get in on the action. A recent hack showed their plans of a hidden payment feature https://twitter.com/andyplace2/status/518503570950209536/photo/1 although a this stage of the game it isn’t entirely clear what their goals are, beyond money transfer services.
Another massive change, is that we may be getting some additions to the usual suspects. New networks have been popping up all over, most notably Ello, which vows to never sell use data, Yik Yak, which lets people exchange anonymous posts with people who are nearby, and tsu, which promised to share ad revenue with users based off the popularity of their posts.
The biggest challenge they have ahead of them is gaining enough of a user-base to feel alive and active, the same thing Google+ still struggles with.
Similar to the phone wallet from earlier, shopping is going to finally come to social media. Both Twitter and Facebook have been beta-testing “buy” buttons which will appear beside certain posts and tweets to allow users to make a purchase without ever leaving the site. This is likely a response to all the businesses that have joined the medias. The happy, receptive audience is there, now’s the time to capitalize on it.
You may have heard of the watches google’s been advertising lately or other smart devices, but there’s currently a push to get them to make notices on social media. While this might seem irritating now, if they continue to make strides forward they could become extremely helpful, especially when the small things slip your mind.
Almost in response to people’s name being stabled everywhere, spanning from Facebook to YouTube, anonymous networks have been receiving a bit of a surge lately. Snapchat, Secret, Whisper, Yik Yak and Telegram have all been on the rise, but with the repeated hacks to Snapchat resulting in thousands of sensitive pictures being posted on the internet and Whisper’s saving of user posts and locations, the demand for real anonymity and privacy became even more powerful. As a result, Facebook for one introduced new chat app Rooms, which let people create rooms around shared interests without having to give name or location.
The game keeps on changing and it’s not going to stop. We’ve got a heck of a year ahead of us, let’s make it a great one!
For a more in-depth reading, click here to view the Times article in its entirety.