The explosion in social media is radically changing the way we communicate and the dynamics of marketing. Here are our predictions for major developments that should have a profound effect on the industry next year.
Pinterest goes public
Could this be the year Pinterest goes public? We predict the content sharing service that allows members to "pin" pieces of media and images to digital bulletin boards will pin itself to the New York Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter of 2014 with a market valuation of $9 billion. It would select the ticker symbol "PN," since "PIN" belongs to PowerShares India Portfolio ETF. (Pinterest currently ranks with both Facebook and Twitter as one of the three biggest sources for referral traffic for other websites, according to tracking site Shareaholic.)
The news is not announced in a pin on the company's official Pinterest page, unlike the wayTwitter shared news of its SEC filing to go public.
Email begins to be revolutionized
Email will see its long awaited makeover in 2014.
How many seconds are wasted each year on people pushing the "delete" button after reading an email? Millions? Billions? And those who don't delete emails know their inboxes are clogged with old and useless messages.
It need not be this way.
We predict an app that allows users to share messages that disappear after 30 seconds or 24 hours is the first step into a digital world where the "e" in email stands for ephemeral. Allowing senders of email, rather than receivers, to determine what pieces of communication should last and what should pass translates into precious hours saved, and a more pleasant digital life for those aiming to claim 'Inbox Zero.'
This would excite Twitter co-founder and billionaire Ev Williams who, while discussing the age of information overload with CBS' Charlie Rose, said: "Email is the most intimate witness to our lives. Yet it hasn't changed since the days of Hotmail. We keep files in there. We share pictures of our kids in there. There are receipts in there. Email knows a lot about our lives. It's been dying for someone to come at it from a completely different angle. It's ripe for reimagining. Someone will do it."
In addition to self-destructible email, users would have the ability to reply to certain messages without ever sending an email. How? By taking a page out of Facebook and Twitter's book.
Instead of shooting back a short email acknowledging a joke ("Haha!") or that you received a person's message ("Got it!"), users can push "like" or "favorite" on a note. The original sender will be pinged with your interaction, helping cut down on an unnecessary email.
(Read more: Social Media in 2014: All about show, not tell)
Sorry Facebook, Google wins the Snapchat battle
Here's our call for Google. Tired of losing out to Facebook and Twitter in the social media space, the search giant acquires Snapchat for $3.7 billion after multiple offers from Facebook. Snapchat, the rapidly growing messaging app, allows users to share destructible pictures and videos.
Snapchat would be added to Google's mobile arsenal, which includes Waze, the world's largest community-based navigation app that Google acquired in 2013. Getting Snapchat would give Google hope that it may finally catch up with the social media giants before long by tapping into the app's teenage audience. Brands also will finally take Snapchat seriously.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has publicly shared his displeasure with Google, specifically with the service's efforts to increase the number of monthly active users.
Still, knowing that Facebook is not as appealing as it once was with teenagers, the 23-year-old Spiegel finds Google to be the better fit.
(Read more: Google shares hit new high after earnings beat)
Jack Dorsey takes stake in The New York Times?
With the Twitter IPO behind him and a potential Square IPO ahead of him, co-founder Jack Dorsey—who hopes to one day become the mayor of New York City—will take a 3 percent stake in The New York Times next year.
In 2008, when the Times joined Twitter, Dorsey called the publication his "favorite paper." In a 2011 interview with Vanity Fair, Dorsey said the NYC mayoral gig would be his dream job. In 2014, Dorsey moves to the Big Apple and teams up with the paper.
Followers of @Jack's Twitter feed know well that Dorsey often tweets links (184 tweets over the last four years, to be exact) to @nytimes articles, sometimes in rapid succession. With a piece of the 162-year-old newspaper in his pocket, clicks on those links will now actually benefit the tech entrepreneur.