This year we have witnessed a lot of movement in the digital arena starting with Google trying to gain a bigger share of the social media market with google +, its usual changes in the algorithm used to rank pages and, recently, the encryption of analytics data making some of the traffic information “not available” to users.
We have also witnessed a massive revamp of facebook and its applications which, in our opinion, position facebook in track to become a web inside the wider web. With its membership reaching 1 billion it is the most successful social venture yet. Not to undermine other online initiatives like Groupon, LinkedIn and Twitter that have manage to consolidate their offering beyond the geek community along 2011. Twitter and facebook took a massive leap forward when they were crucial at organising massive social movements from the Arab Spring to last summer riots in England.
Other platforms like Spotify follow on the success, this time in the opposite direction. When Spotify’s business model was questioned by many they decided to cross the Atlantic and expand into the States. This has proven to be an enormously successful move which together with its alliance with facebook has seen Spotify reaching to a 2500000 strong premium membership.
In other aspects of the web Broadband has not managed to deliver fast speed throughout as we all expected but it remains a clear target by the government to deliver it (http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/09/22/uk-governments-bduk-office-corrects-superfast-broadband-speed-confusion.html).
Web TV is still a reality used by a small minority, although there are plenty of options like apple tv, google tv, Boxee to name just a few. And regardless of services like Netflix and others offering content on demand, Web TV is far from reaching mass usage. As the first TVs come to the market with internet access already set up we believe this year may well be the year for the expansion of Web TV into most households. This would provide businesses with new ways to interact with a big audience.
2011 also showed a continuous increase of the users accessing the web through mobile devices. This has created the need for businesses to consider the experience it offers to its mobile users as a must. One of the best examples must be Amazon 1 click buy. Constant improvements in hand held devices and tablets will mean we will see more of this.
All of the above does reinforce the power of the web as a communication tool and even after 15 years the massive potential still remaining to be untapped, The web will continue to change the way we interact one with each other by adding more option rather than replacing them, the way we shop, the way we learn and even the way we watch TV.
The CRUSH team wishes you all the best for 2012 and a Merry Christmas.