Social Media Predictions for 2011

The end of the year means time to look forward to the next. While we make resolutions, we also wonder what is in store for 2011. In social media, trends change almost daily – looking at expectations annually is almost pointless. (Case in point: even the phrase “social media” was barely used a year ago.) Some things, however, remain constant – such as the fact that we will, likely, continue to use social media in 2011. What’s the biggest prediction for social media in 2011?

Some blogs predict that YouTube will out-peform Yahoo, and we will use e-mail. Well, duh. (Those aren’t exactly “predictions.”) Consumers should be on the lookout, however, for mobile advertising that will push a second wave of social networking platforms and applications, free of advertising, and perhaps even upgraded accounts to opt-out of advertising. As more consumers of social media make the switch to smartphones, social media platforms – especially Facebook – will look to monetize their market. Facebook already barrages their users with several advertising tactics, to the point they widened the advertising module in the recent profile upgrades. However, as more Facebook users use mobile, Facebook will need to look into ways to effectively profit from those users, as they are not in front of their computers as much and subject to¬†advertising.

There will be backlash, of course, as always with new Facebook ideas, once mobile advertising is implemented. As other platforms follow suit, we can expect to see in 2011 a second wave of social networks that are free of advertising. As Facebook users are likely too devoted to switch and ditch Facebook entirely, there is another possibility with this in mind: Facebook, and other social networks, will offer an upgraded plan for mobile users to opt-out of advertising. Likely, it would be tied right into your cell phone bill, and probably wouldn’t cost much – just enough to offset your absence from traditional advertising reach. This could even be an option on web versions of social networks, though Facebook has always held ground that it would be free.

Would you pay to use Facebook mobile? What are your predictions for social media in 2011?