The year 2012 has served to be a big game changer in the world of the internet, and this was proven true as it came to a close. And yes, many expected 2013 to be a continued reign of the internet revolution. However, some experts have laid down their forecasts of what’s going to happen after 2012, and now that we’re in the middle of the year, it can be interesting to note that some of these predictions are slowly coming to life.
So what are these internet predictions in 2013 that you haven’t heard-but are now coming true?
1. Facebook’s paid platform
True, Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild remains to be free in terms of registration and account creation, but internet experts have predicted that by the year 2013, the world’s most populated social network will start implementing paid memberships.
However, Facebook’s paid platform is only limited to business profiles, special features and advertising packages, so there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to personal pages. Businesses who want to find income through Facebook may now use special features, such as penetrating into their other members’ newsfeeds, in addition to the already present sponsored stories and ads.
These features have already started to work since the start of 2013, and we won’t be surprised if more changes on Facebook ads will surface later on.
2. More brands to venture on the mobile market-but with a catch.
The year 2012 came as a surprise in the mobile market, as only a few brands were able to reign in the smartphone era-Samsung and iPhone. Because of their pioneering efforts, other brands have started to change their products too in order to take part of the trend.
However, many of these brands have started late, thus in 2013 they are expected to struggle in terms of getting a share of the market. These include mobile phone brands such as LG, Nokia, and even Motorola, despite the latter having been bought by Google.
Samsung is still expected to dominate the Android smartphone market, thanks to its continuous launch of new hardware and software updates to the products its consumers have already learned to love.
3. More gadgets to embrace WiFi technology.
Back in late 2012, Samsung has released a digital camera that allows direct Facebook uploading using WiFi technology. But its release may have been a little too premature yet, as the focus of the market back then was on phones, tablets and PCs.
This 22013 however, it is expected that more and gadgets will be given their WiFi counterparts, including digital cameras (point and shoot and DSLR types), as well as media players and other tech items. Google Glass is just waiting to be finalized before it can be released to the mass market, and many experts see that once it’s out, the next generation of WiFi products will also follow suit.
4. Communications providers are losing more control of the mobile market.
If there’s one segment of the internet world that’s losing control of its market, that would be communications providers. Sure, they still dominate in terms of providing internet access, but they no longer have a strong hand in terms of controlling software providers.
This is because of the growing reliance of smartphones towards third party software apps that can be downloaded easily using a WiFi connection. Instead of purchasing apps from their communications provider, they would go and check out what Google Play offers, or what’s brewing on the Apple Store.
This can be a major hurdle among communications providers, although it may also be the time for them to focus more on providing better quality internet connections and data transfers to their consumers.
5. Open-source firms to challenge the market once again.
There was a time in the mid-200s when open source programs dominated the internet scene, as they provided enhanced access features without the extra cost, in contrast to what Internet Explorer did during its reign.
Among those who will challenge the internet market in the next few months are Mozilla via the Firefox OS, which is seen to be able to capture the smartphone market before the year 2013 ends. The same future is expected on the Finnish mobile company Jolla, whose OS Sailfish will be applied on a new smartphone to be launched in China also within the year.
6. Pay-per-view jumps back to conquer the market.
Over the years, accessing stuff on the internet was heavily based on ad-supported systems, which later on became inconvenient and annoying to end users. Nowadays however, pay-per-view subscriptions are starting to sell like hotcakes once again, this time targeting the mobile market.
Many of today’s media channels, such as online magazines and TV channels are starting to gain a bigger audience consisting of those who conduct their entertainment activities on their smartphones and tablets. Rather than pester them with ads, companies have made it a point to provide more affordable pay-per-view subscriptions instead.
These subscriptions are designed to be compatible for mobile gadgets, which is in a way worth their price, considering a majority of their current and potential customers will be using their products right on their gadgets, and less on their PCs.
7. Engagement goes mobile.
Perhaps the most underrated internet prediction of 2013 is that of internet marketing’s need for engagement. Engagement has been a hot topic upon the emergence of social media, but this time it is taking a more mobile turn.
Companies who wish to engage with their target market may find better profit by means of mobile interaction. These include the release of mobile apps which users can access to send in their questions, reactions and feedback toward a brand that they’ve been subscribing to.
Brands are likewise encouraged to create apps that generate promos and discounts to their current users-the exclusivity based on app usage allows brands to be more attached to their market, as these channels promote engagement at a greater impact compared to what was achieved during the era of social media.
Brock Hamilton is an author and owner of the Simple Website Tutorials website which is dedicated to teaching people how to make a website through free online tutorials and training. Follow him on Google+, Facebook and YouTube.