Notes Trend observation: social galore

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This is a digital trend observation made for a panel debate at Hyper Island in september 2010, during the module "The Future Digital Industry".

This article is written as a base for disscussions, so there is a lot of questions and hardly any conclusions or answers, it's merely reflections from a student.


A big trend online is social networks. New social start ups sees the light of the day everywhere and all the time. More and more social networks are going mobile, following you in your pocket everywhere you go. Among all these social networks there is also a lot of new niche social networks. What and who will survive? How will they keep on making money and survive? With more social networks it means more identities to keep track on, more followers and more friends to stay in touch with. If we are adding location based social networks into the mix, when will we ever be private and how can companies misuse this information?

Example from reality

Facebook is currently the biggest player, with over 500 million active users (July 2010) . But we can see more niched social services like Yammer, a Twitter-like service for organisations and companies. Flickr is a social network for photographers and in one way Facebook competes with Flickr, but Facebooks photo sharing is more basic. Fotolog is another photo sharing network and DailyBooth is more of photo sharing in combination with status updates.

Foursquare and Gowalla are location based social networks, with Foursquare being more about recommending locations and Gowalla is about check-in at a location.

Other examples of niche social networks are LinkedIn (for professionals), Behance Network (for creatives/portfolio), Dribbble (designers show current work).

Spotify recently teamed up with Facebook and made your music social, a thing already has done for a couple of years. They both got new competition from iTunes+Ping.

Counter trend

Are people tired of all this sharing on social networks? And who is supposed to read about it? Another thing, maybe not a counter trend, but a concern often discussed is about the users personal information being in the hands of others and the security issues.

Driving force and its agents

Being the next thing and start making money. But do they? People want to share. "15 megabytes of fame." With a more niche product will it be easier to sell ads and make money? The users are the ones who fill the networks with content and if we stop that will be the end of the networks.


Social media is a part of the future, or at least the behaviour, but is it going to be in the way we are using it today? Status updates? And how will companies enter into the social media? Will there be a social media supervisor in every company? If we are adding location based into the social media it will open up possibilities for a new way of direct marketing. Knowing about your behaviour, knowing about your buys and about your visits. Augmented reality and social media? Social operating systems?


Will we stop being social in the “real world”? Will people get tired and go offline? Missing what's important because of the overload of information.
The privacy matter of social networks is a big thing. Who owns the information you share? The Diaspora-project is an example, where privacy is being discussed and the project aims to build a social network with users in full control of the info they share.