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What To Expect In 2012 From Social Media

As we descend into the end of 2011 we creep closer to a dawn of yet another new era in technology and social networking. It’s been over a decade since the first social media site hit the web and it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen a slump in evolution since.

Each year, the face of social media seems to completely change and evolve into a beast that becomes indistinguishable from the years that came before it.

How can anyone ever manage to stay on top in a sea of never-ending changes?

The name of the game is staying ahead of the curve as much as humanly possible. Can you imagine the amount of views you would have now if your videos were on YouTube when it was a startup? On second thought, it might be better to spare yourself the frustration and not think about it.

So what’s going to be big in 2012 for social media?

Geo-Tagging Is Going To Take Off

GPS is very quickly becoming standard in all mobile phones, even those lacking driving navigation systems that initially made the technology popular in the commercial market. By September 2012, wireless providers in the US will be required to provide more precise location information for 911 calls.

This leaves the door open on many opportunities for businesses to cash in on. Although the reception to services like Foursquare have paled in comparison to social juggernauts Twitter and Facebook, there remains a very distinct separation between them: geo-tagging brings online social networking offline.

With Facebook’s recent acquisition of Gowalla, a mobile web app allowing users to check-in to locations they visit, you can certainly expect to see some major legwork happening in the next year from Zuckerberg’s army of social coders.

The Fate of Google+ Will Come To Fruition

Google seems to be tearing their hair out when it comes to the social media rat race. With the pile of failed products stacking up, Google is kicking into high gear to earn a dominant position in the socialsphere and might finally be close to hitting some momentum.

There are two things that could contribute to putting Google Plus on the map in 2012: Google Ripples and free voice calls in G+ Hangouts.

Marketers are going to love Ripples. Think of the new Facebook “View Shares” metric but with an added visual component so you can see how far your post’s influence extends.

Social Media Will Win (And Lose) Elections

We saw Barack Obama sweep the 2008 US Presidential Election with an incredibly powerful social media campaign but is it safe to say that he wouldn’t have won without it?

Although we can’t be 100% sure of the answer right now, we can safely say that social media will be non-negotiable when it comes to the elections of the future.

Businesses Will Fully Embrace Social Media

This is a bold claim and obviously just a prediction, but it is clear that the growth for social media has far past the tipping point and is beginning to integrate into every component of our daily lives.

A great article from Brent Polhman highlights the need for businesses to plan and predict vs. react in 2012 and how social media is becoming social business.

What Do You See In 2012?

So much change in so little time is something you just get used to living in the 21st century. In a world where news breaks first via Twitter and a viral video can launch you to international success in hours, the fact that anything possible becomes more fathomable everyday.

What predictions do you have for social media and technology in 2012? Leave your message in the comments below!