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Predictions: The Internet & Social Media in 2012

 

Unless you believe in the Mayan Calendar, there is actually a lot to look forward to in 2012. At Webnovation we have compiled a list of what we think will be the Internet and Social Media trends to watch out for  in the coming year.

Social Media as News Source
It has already been happening. More and more often, people have been getting their news from Social Media. Plus, at its current growth pace Facebook is likely to reach one billion users by 2012, making it the largest audience for any media source in the world. As a result, news websites will gradually be replaced by Apps integrated with social media, and news will be delivered to your Facebook account directly, or passed on from a friend who’d like to share this news with you.

Social Media Commerce
Several companies have been  building e-commerce Facebook apps for years, but it was the recent announcement by Paypal that heralded the true arrival of Social Media Commerce. So expect that in addition to the “like” button, you will start seeing a lot of Facebook pages  having buttons that say “buy”.

HTML 5
The fifth iteration of the HTML standard lets developers create richer, more interactive websites and online applications. HTML5 adds many new syntactical features that make it easier to include and handle web-based multimedia and graphical content without having to resort to downloading additional plugins This means developers no longer need to build applications for every operating system out there because HTML5 offers the opportunity to build an app once and have it work everywhere.

As a client, this means you won’t have to pay to have different versions of your App or website built to match a particular browser or operating system, For consumers, that means richer applications and experiences on all  devices.

Augmented Reality
What is Augmented Reality? If you’ve seen the Tom Cruise film Minority Report, then you might have already caught a glimpse of what its possibilities are. Imagine walking into a store or a restaurant and being able to interact with the physical elements using your mobile device. Using apps such as Layar, you simply aim your mobile phone’s camera onto a restaurant’s sign and you’ll be able to read reviews and recommendations, or aim the phone at a department store display and get recommendations on what accessories and shoes go best with the dress you’re coveting.

Touch Computing
Since the introduction of tablet computers and smart phones, companies have been running Apps , “mobile” or “touch” versions of their websites. This meant that in order for a consumer to access information about your business using their devices, they would first have to download an App, or be redirected to the touch or mobile version of your website.  As a web design client, this would mean additional costs for developing these alternative versions of your website.

However, certain experts are seeing these new devices not as alternatives but as replacements. Just as the command line gave way to graphical user interfaces, so the mouse will be superseded by touchscreens. So instead of having alternative versions built, website owners should therefore consider a touchscreen-inspired interface that is able to work over all possible devices.

Happy New Year!

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