2016 Predictions

For a bit of fun, I thought I would put together a very brief post about my predictions for 2016.

My main prediction is incredibly simple, and won’t be surprised to anybody who follows me already and social media:

1. 2016 will start to see a huge push on VR and 360 movies, including new ‘live streaming’ platforms

For this to lift off you need 3 things:

Content – this comes down to filming equipment

Platforms – YouTube is 360 friendly already. And Android has the cardboard ready button on videos.
There are also platforms building exclusively for 360/VR, including Vrideo.com.

Viewers – like Oculus and Cardboard.
We can guess there are around about 5 million units (finger is the air guess work) out there at present, but when the full Oculus version gets released they will be pushing for sales/adoption.

The great thing is, 360 videos are still cool even without a viewer.

But seeing as this is stating the obvious, I want to take it a step or two further..
Next year we will first ‘live streaming’ VR platforms start to emerge, and they may even arrive via YouTube and Facebook (as they have 360 videos already) and Periscope.

But it is all down to the filming.
There are new cameras coming on the market in the $500 range that will give this whole area a boost.

The word of the year for next year? I am betting on ‘presence’.

Whichever platform can cannot people in the most ‘life like way’ will win.
Periscope was a leap, but in 2016 we will see much more, including…

Magic leap. Too soon to say, but we can assume that augmented reality is going to hit the headlines as soon as it has launched. And the new ‘Google Glass’ unity may have a role to play.

Next…

2. Twitter and Google will reveal the nature of relationship they have.

i.e. We will find out why Google is pushing Twitter to the top of Search in 9% of results (according to Moz.com)
Why would you give a competitor such prime real estate?
Twitter has a mature network and is very ‘conversational’, with Google+ now firmly focused on ‘interests’ (through Collections and Communities) we may well find Google and Twitter are increasingly integrated as part of one eco-system.
Note: Twitter also owns Periscope, which would be great for a) live streaming for the network on Google+, Twitter and YouTube and b) perfect for VR ‘out and about’ experiences.

3. Facebook’s reach in Search may well increase.

Facebook is not a walled garden anymore – only around 5 posts in my newsfeed were ‘not to public’; and FB posts are already indexed by Google and we know there was testing on more showing in Search on an Android device.
This may well lead to Google.com being the place to surface any public content.
Historic MSN messenger data may well be being used to find other contacts – I know as this was the main way I communicated with a friend who has just been suggested to me on FB. So expect a much longer view of social.
I’ve also questioned a few times on whether my Gmail data was being shared with Facebook, based on the suggestions given. Nah, that is too far out.

4. Google+ Collections will start to surface in Google Search

Just as with ‘Google+ Communities’ I expect we will see niche content, well curated, serve the Search crowd more and more.
Which means for those building them up, you may well start to be the authority your dreamed of all those years ago…

My best advice on this is to value what you’ve build over the past years.
Every post you share that drives traffic to a website may well have much more value that a $12 CPM model.
Take a look at ‘advantages of social media marketing’ below – yes, that almost $30 a click if you buy the traffic from Search.
Value what you've built
This may be the year that brands feel they’ve missed the boat, and now they need Brand Ambassadors like you.
So here is another prediction, many people will be seen as authorities based on the Collections they build.

And finally…

5. Android TV

I’ve been Android TV will change our viewing Android TV will happen within 24 months, but depends in part on the number of units being shipped by Sony.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, then you are in for a treat.
It is not your mobile interface on the TV, it is a hub for the iOT.
As smart homes begin to emerge as the norm (5 years?) Apple and Android will be making a play.
If you want a taster, get the latest Shield device (Nvdia) and give it a whirl.

Conclusion: 2016

The communities are built. I see 2016 to be the year of the network, across all platforms.

So let me say it again: Value what you’ve built.
The relationships and the community connect you, but it is then network as my buddy Ted Rubin says, that gives you reach.

If people have not spent years building a network, then they need you. Put value on what you have, and what you do.
And here is to your investments bearing you the fruit you deserve.

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