Every 3 days Twitter posts one billion tweets. Three billion likes are given every day on Facebook, alongside three hundred million photos being shared every day. If we can say one thing about 2012 it has to be that it probably was the year of social sharing.
Looking into the future, I’m more than convinced that 2013 is holding another huge year for how we interact on social networks. When it comes to social sharing, the numbers will continue to skyrocket. As I watch usage stats continue to increase, I also watch people closer to me doing more socially. They share more photos, they like more activities, they follow more people. These are my Mom, my wife, my neighbors and my friends — many of whom previously had little to no interest in social networks or Internet sharing. So both my own little study and many other larger ones confirm that the times, they are a changing.
With that, Here are my 5 best predictions on the future of social sharing.
1. Photos are taking over Facebook, partly replacing links.
A key development that was most evident for most people was how photos have taken over Facebook. 2013 will be the year where this trend continues, largely due to Facebook favoring engaging images with their edgerank algorithm over text or link status updates.
Hence, one of the most important things will be to start sharing images more intentionally, especially when trying to share links. Apps which facilitate easy photo sharing from any article you are reading (like my favorite, Buffer — see photo of their new design that launches today) will play an important role.
2. The quantified self revolution: Sharing insights about your body and progress.
A second important sharing trend to observe is the revolution of the quantified self. Apps like Strava or Fitocracy already let you share your workout stats today and we are going to see a lot more sharing of this sort. With up and coming services like Fitbit, Facebook and Twitter will soon be full with how many steps you’ve taken today, how many pounds you’ve lost or gained, how high your blood pressure is and other insights about the quantified self.
3. Zuckerberg’s law continues: The amount of daily shared updates will increase dramatically
“Every year, we are sharing the double the amount of what we’ve shared the year before” said Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s F8 conference in 2011. His then newly established law has kept its promise up until today and can be expected to continue at the same pace in 2013. There will be a massive surge in daily posted updates. Especially now that larger and larger groups of people are conversant with the various social platforms. The learning phase is ending, the sharing phase is ready to roll out to all platforms.
4. Optimization, timing and analytics will become more of a focus.
When is the best time to post on Twitter? When should you update Facebook? What should you be sharing that most interests your audience? Questions about timing, optimization and analytics will be a huge focus in 2013. Keeping track of how well your updates are performing and knowing how to improve this will be crucial.
Optimization apps that help with timing and analytics like Tweriod, Buffer or Crowdbooster are just a few amongst the facilitators to make your updates get to your friends and followers exactly when they will be available to read them and what they enjoy the most.
5. Promoted Tweets and stories will be the key advertising trend in 2013
Amongst all advertising products that Facebook and Twitter have tested over the past year, two have come out as the most promising: Promoted Tweets and promoted stories. Paying to have already relevant content show up more frequently is a brilliant way for brands to stay on top of mind with consumers. In 2013, I expect lots of more promoted content to be passed around on Facebook and Twitter, potentially also on new rising stars like Pinterest or Google+.
Social sharing is looking like a big hit in 2013, with all clues pointing up and to the right.
What are your predictions for what is going to happen in 2013 when it comes to posting to your favorite social networks? I’d love your thoughts on this in the comments.