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.