LOOKING FORWARD: IMAGINING SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2025

Take your mind back ten years. You kept in touch with friends and family with lengthy phone calls, text messages and calls were the only reason you used a phone, shopping was done on the high street on a Saturday, and we scarcely knew what the hashtag key was for.

Just ten years ago Facebook.com was bought

Having slowly made its way across the US universities as Thefacebook.com, Facebook purchased the domain Facebook.com for $200,000 in 2005. Later that year, it began to spread worldwide, reaching UK universities in October. Now it is the second most visited website in the world, after Google.

We’ve seen the demise of social networking sites over the years including Friends Reunited and MySpace and seen the rebels of our social groups ‘quit’ Facebook for varying lengths of time, so will the platform even exist in 2025?

Well, the figures suggest the social network is still growing strong. And with just over 38% of the world’s internet users using Facebook, there’s still room for the platform to grow.

There will still be a need for social media but the way we communicate will evolve

Facebook claim their mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Whether we buy into that or not, we’ve all come to rely on Facebook more than any other social network. We stay connected with friends, family, old school friends and workmates. We upload photos, create events and find out what’s going on in the world. And if anything we look set to use Facebook more and more like the way we communicate evolves.

Imagine consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home

Facebook already had the purchase of social media platform Instagram under their belts when they acquired WhatsApp in 2014. And after the purchase of Oculus Rift the virtual reality headset, Facebook also looks set to launch virtual reality gaming. But perhaps we could also be getting together with our friends in Starbucks in virtual reality?

Zuckerberg himself has said: “Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face- just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Wearable tech and connected home devices

Already wearable technology such as smartwatches and fitness bands are collecting huge amounts of rich data about their owners so how does this fit into the future of social media marketing?

Just imagine Nike being able to send you a public tweet or reminder that you haven’t worked out for a few weeks. Or Innocent smoothies recognising your blood sugar is low, so being able to send you a Facebook message about their latest offer in your local Sainsbury’s.

Connected home devices are also going to become invaluable over the next decade as we come to rely on technology that tells us exactly what’s left in our fridges, turns the oven on remotely, and controls the temperature and lighting of our homes. And social media will almost certainly be a part of this.

But what does this all mean for the user, giving away vast amounts of data and consenting to receive thousands of targeted messages? Well, Google predicts that there will be an option for users to ‘go dark’. For a monthly subscription, the search giant might offer a service where a user can browse online and social networks as a private user – so no adverts. But should we have to pay for this service? Well, we have all been using social media for over a decade now for free.

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