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10 predictions for 2013 about the internet and technology

2013As promised I will try to make new years predictions a tradition. So here we go with the successor of lasts years take.

What’s going to happen in 2013?

Touch devices device categories will further blur

7 inch tablets Like the Nexus 7 have been successful in 2012. So successful in fact that even Apple produced the iPad mini. Another big success in 2012 has been the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 the 5.5 inch big smart phone. See where I’m getting at?

By the end of the year I am sure we will have seen a lot of in between devices as well as flexible screens and touch screens on kitchen appliances. Even giant screens have been announced. I don’t think that the device model nor its screen size can be used to determine a users current usage situation.

Whether he really is mobile and on the move or stationary on the couch, seeking entertainment or information, has time to spare or time to save certainly is important to provide the best service but can not be concluded from technical aspects alone.

This information will probably be provided by ad networks soon as they are the ones with the ideal infrastructure for this kind of real time analysis.

Facebook will continue to experiment with business models

Paying for message broadcasts? Selling Instagram fotos? Facebook will continue to find ways to monetize services and technologies they already own.

On the other hand I don’t expect much innovation of them apart from the odd acquisition maybe.

Blackberry 10 will largely be ignored

RIM certainly tries some good marketing stunts but I am not convinced at all that anyone has Blackberry 10 as part of their strategy.

All that development must’ve cost a fortune already and continues to do so and I wouldn’t be too surprised when this proves to be a fatal problem to the company by the end of the year.

Googles universe will continue to grow

Google did a fantastic journey over the last few months and integrated almost all of their existing services into one big Google world.

So far only Google TV lacks behind and the Chrome OS hasn’t taken off yet but all the other stuff already provides a service universe accessible from any device in any situation.

I expect Google+ to become more and more important as a base technology instead of a social network.

Oh and I look forward to Google TV but don’t expect much except from some LG TVs..

HTML5 supports reach but not profit

HTML5 is the technology that spans across devices and has often been said to be better than native apps.

However I don’t think this is entirely true. It will surely be used a lot and responsive websites / webapps will rise but only for one purpose – to gain reach and to provide information. Reading and enjoying websites on a tablet or smart phone demands this.

But if you seek to sell a service, contents or whatnot you will find yourself developing native apps again. It seems to be far more acceptable and convenient to pay for those than for a website. See Facebook for example who started with HTML5 a while back but greatly accelerated only when they went native.

HTML5 makes websites conveniently accessible but for generating a true benefit for your users you need to go native.

Metered paywalls won’t cut the mustard

Many content sites world wide are now trying to build a paid content strategy. Most of them will install a so called metered paywall which allows for free usage of a websites contents until a certain threshold is crossed like i.e. 20 articles read at which point the users will have to pay per article or a subscription fee.

I just don’t think this will work largely. It will work for some regular visitors maybe but what about those who visit a website coming from Google or Facebook or somewhere else who didn’t have the website in mind in the first place but have interest only in the contents they stumbled upon? For them the paywall will popup out of nowhere and it will seriously damage the brand on that website as it appears greedy and not inviting as it should be.

I can imagine paid content to work in some ways by now but I can not see a metered paywall.

Niche communities will rise in Europe

The market for big networks seems to be settled with Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Viadeo and the lot.

But specialized communities pop up lately where people network around certain topics or professions. What started as a trend in the US will continue on the European markets soon. I think the key will be to own a network and provide a platform but not to own identities but instead allow people to connect and authorize with their identities from Facebook, Twitter and so on.

Amazons Kindle Fire will attract the average Joe

The devices are neat, the price is sexy and the torrents of contents from video to music to books and to games is overwhelming. However the software is rather unsexy and not at all attractive to users who are technically advanced and want to be cutting edge.

But the Kindle Fire is perfect for your mom and dad and the neighbor next door. People who only want to consume stuff on a nice and affordable device. Don’t pity them they are the vast majority so expect Kindle Fire adverts to get more conservative.

The internet will be full of things

Have you noticed the appearance of gadgets that measure and photograph that count and detect? The internet of things was still in an experimental phase in 2012 but all these things will now come to life and provide a massive amount of data and information about anything anywhere and at any time.

We will see services that react on our geo position, the weather and even our heart rate or temperature soon. Services will soon know what you need and what you want before even you do.

Big data will cause conflicts

Big data has been a buzzword for some time now and by the end of last year it could be heard in press statements and management meetings. It has long left it’s technology niche and hit business and will continue to do so. The internet of things is just one reason why the torrent of data available becomes bigger and bigger.

But using all this data will make everybody out there even more transparent than we already are. Algorithms will know our needs and desires before even we do and this will cause a lot of data protection and privacy debates centered in Germany but probably all over Europe and partly the US. Where there is no governmental institution to call on these debates there will be protests by the users themselves. Selling Instagram fotos without opting in was just one prime example of the late 2012.

So those are my predictions. I could add that e- and m-commerce markets will continue to grow and that the whole furniture industry is the next big one to finally make it onto the net but that has been said by others already.

Anyhow I wish you all a prosperous 2013!

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