Social media will become more mainstream, commercialised and industrialised this year, according to a new report on trends in digital media.
The report, Ten Driving Forces in Digital Marketing - A Digital Trends Paper 2012, made ten predictions for digital over the coming months and was released at an event in London today.
Among the key trends flagged up in the report were the growing opportunities for brands afforded by location-based services and interest networks.
Peter Sigrist, director at 33 Digital, noted that the past few months have seen an increasing emphasis on who consumers are connected to and what exactly they are interested in, citing platforms such as CircleMe.
Sigrist highlighted the growing ubiquity of Pinterest,
which was the fifth largest driver of traffic to retail sites in America over the past few months.
Tablets are changing the way people consume information, the report's authors say, citing research from the Financial Times, which suggests tablets increase the time people spend in contact with brands, with tablet reading happening more in the mornings, evenings and weekend, than previously.
Location-based platforms have been heralded as the next big thing for several years, but Sigrist thinks this could be a year of substantial change.
'Location-based services are still a minority sport; about 70 per cent of people still haven't heard of location-based services but they are getting more useful and targeted to consumers,' Sigrist said at today's report launch.
Drew Benvie, managing director of Hotwire, predicted social TV as a key trend for the next 12 months. Expect to see more Twitter hashtags appearing on your television screens, as media outlets attempt to widen their audiences, Benvie said.
He also emphasised the close relationship between television and social media. Nearly three quarters of all trending topics are straight from the TV, according to research carried out by his company.
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