The year 2011 was a fantastic year for the Internet and companies IPO’s. Websites got major makeovers and the word “social” became part of everything. Now, even your grandmother has a Smartphone which she uses to access the Internet and order her shopping online.
With so much progress it would be hard to make some predictions about what we’ll see in 2012 but we’re never one to shy away from an impossible task so here we go with our predictions for 8 of the major Internet companies for 2012.
Google will go from strength to strength although its core search business may take a hit as sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn expand their advertising options and businesses can target entire demographics for a lot cheaper than spending on Adwords. The decline in search will be offset by the increase in popularity of its Android operating system, Chrome browser and OS, new Google Music service as well as it’s Apps for business.
One thing is for certain and that is that Facebook will IPO in 2012. On the features front expect to see more features for interacting such as Google’s innovative Hangouts and will become more ubiquitous across the web with their social plugins. Now that Facebook have built a pretty robust platform they are going all out to squeeze as much money out of it as possible and have even gone as far as tracking people across multiple sites (thanks to their ever present Like buttons) to get a better profile of the person so that advertisers can put an even more targeted message in front of them.
Famed for its brevity, Twitter seems to be moving away from its core success with the addition of photos and video sharing. We wouldn’t be surprised if this evolved more in to a kind of Tumblr platform where most things can be shared with Twitter’s famous concise way.
Once famous for funny clips, YouTube has become the go to place to watch movie trailers and music videos. We expect movie and music studios to fully embrace YouTube in 2012 with the addition of most of their back library of music videos and movie trailers. Amateur videos will make way for Hollywood quality produced short clips and feature films, a new paid subscription service will be started which will let people stream as many premium content videos as they want.
What is LinkedIn actually used for? I have all these connections but I never reach out to people. Does it sound familiar? The fact is LinkedIn is becoming a major player in the recruitment and hiring industry since it has access to far more data than any other recruitment site. Laser targeted headhunting services will be offered along with a dramatic rise in overseas companies looking to hire foreign talent. LinkedIn will continue to grow as the best place for B2B companies to have their social media presence.
2012 will be Amazon’s year because they have laid the groundwork to take on Apple and Google. Once the biggest seller of books online, Amazon have grown to become the biggest seller of well, everything. Not reliant on volatile advertising spending like some sites listed here, Amazon are building up an eco-system for their Kindle range of products much like Apple and Google have done. Furthermore they have introduced a range of services for the businesses like cloud hosting, content delivery networks and payment processing.
Is it a scam? Is it a brilliant idea? Hasn’t it already been done before? Regardless of what the media has told you about Groupon, behind the headlines lies a different kind of company. What’s the main business of Google? It’s advertising. What’s the main business of McDonalds? It’s real estate. What’s the main business of Groupon? It’s customer buying data. Groupon now know what even the tiniest demographic wants to buy and can serve up laser targeted deals that are almost guaranteed to succeed. Even without their daily deals business, Groupon are sitting on some very valuable data that other companies would pay big bucks to access. Groupon will grow and expand.
We believe that eBay will see a decline in fortunes as pressure from Amazon continues to take away the full time businesses selling on eBay. On a similar note, the rise of collaborative consumption with sites like Freecycle and Yoink will mean more people give away their unwanted stuff to locals rather than going through the hassle of selling it on Ebay. For crafts and handmade items, Etsy will continue its growth. By the end of the year, if eBay don’t come up with something new, we expect it to become an ‘also ran’ of Internet companies.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Are we spot on or so far out of the loop it just isn’t funny. Well, we’ll see you same time, same place in 2012 and see what we got right shall we?
Guest Post Author Bio:
Peter Claridge is the Online Marketing Manager for Agriya and is passionate about web startups and helping people build their own successful websites. Agriya is a 10 year old company and develops software like the Airbnb clone and Groupon clone.