A recently published whitepaper by Johnny Royal, CEO/founder of Luthier Society, a multimedia firm based in Hollywood, Calif., laid out several social media 3.0 trends of which marketers should be aware. The following are highlights from the report, titled Social Media 3.0 and the Future of Viral Marketing:
1. Multimedia microblogging
Microblogging is currently limited to short text messages and possibly links to photos or web pages. As a result of the creation and deployment of the multimedia messaging service — a standard way to send messages that include multimedia and content to and from mobile phones — users will be able to send text as well as short videos, photos and audio files directly to another phone user, Royal says.
2. Interoperability between platforms
Sites like MySpace, Facebook and Photobucket don’t get along well, Royal says. To use them, users must become familiar with each site’s procedures. What’s more, few sites can connect with each other and share content easily. In the future, expect to see sites integrate together more fully to streamline the user experience, Royal predicts.
3. An increase in open-source technology
Currently, websites maintain their own usernames and login information, which users must remember when they register for these sites. Also, every time users become members of sites, they’re required to fill out new profiles, which usually include information already contained in their profiles on other sites. Projects like OpenID and OAuth, for example, are creating single usernames/passwords for all social media sites, and automatically fill in profile data to save the user time and encourage site participation, Royal says.
4. Improved tracking and metrics
It’s difficult to effectively monitor traffic and discussions on social media sites currently, Royal says. But many programs are in development that will make it possible to easily and accurately gauge what’s being said about a particular topic or product, he says.
5. Predictive modeling and artificial intelligence
Savvy social media networks and sites already are looking for ways to enhance the user experience with predictive modeling algorithms based on data gathered from actual user behavior, Royal says. While this concept can be a tremendous boon to marketers, it will likely cause consternation among privacy rights activists, so expect to see a heated public debate on the topic before it’s settled.