What Will Social Media Have to Offer in 5 Years?

Social media already plays a huge role in everyone’s lives. From finding local goods for sale to keeping up-to-date with friends, social media has taken hold of the world. In 5 years, this helpful tool is sure to be much more than what it is today. Networking, VR, and content sharing are sure to be a few of the key changes social media will see in 5 years.

Business

Everyone knows that networking is vital to a thriving career, especially in this digital age. With tools like LinkedIn, industry-specific forums, and even a simple Facebook account, it’s possible to leverage the power of social media for anything related to business. From college students using Facebook for class communication, to colleagues keeping in contact with Google+, social media is an invaluable tool.

With today’s use of social medial for networking and business in mind, how will the professional world look in 5 years? For businesspeople and marketers, it’s clear that social media will grow as a tool to advertise and gain customers. From Facebook posts to Instagram feeds, marketing depends on social media. As the years go by, social media will step up to play an even larger role for businesses.

Social networks are useful for all kinds of people, from college students to empty-nesters. With the diverse crowd and huge potential for targeted marketing, social media’s role in business will only grow in the next 5 years.

Virtual Reality

Social VR is an exciting, emerging technology that hopes to have millions of users as popularity increases. Although virtual reality has not yet hit mass-adoption, it is shaping up to be a huge trend. Virtual reality appeals to gamers, artists and academics alike due to its memorable, immersive technology. With social media, VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive promise an exciting future.

Although Oculus’s founder recently left Facebook, their 3-year partnership shows how well social media and virtual reality can intertwine. Ultimately, the potential is huge for connecting with people online, all across the world, in a seemingly real space. This is why social media is sure to see a rise in virtual reality experiences within the next 5 years.

Even Linden Labs (creators of the wildly popular virtual world Second Life) sees potential with social VR in a project called Sansar. Although still in development, this project aims to create a virtual space for social interaction in VR. When hosting a large virtual space for millions of multiplayer users, a group like Linden Labs will surely take advantage of the advanced data loss prevention tools available today. Just like Facebook’s interest in virtual reality, this company’s pursuits are very telling about the future of social media.

Shopping

Although plenty of today’s social networks provide opportunities to make purchases through groups and pages, the future of social media will be more integrated with the online-shopping experience. Today’s shopping on social media looks like a classified page from a newspaper, but the future of social media promises a much more connected design.

For example, take a look at one of the largest online shopping companies out there. Amazon’s 1-click purchase options for eBooks and other products eliminates an unnecessary step for shoppers and promotes impulse-buying. When purchasing is directly integrated with social media, users will become more connected with consumption. Social media is sure to incorporate more direct purchasing opportunities in the years to come.

Overall, it’s clear that social media is sure to evolve for the better within the next 5 years. From the way we approach shopping to wearable tech like virtual reality, social media has an exciting future.

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Brenda Stokes Barron is a freelance writer and blogger for hire. When she's not hunched over her laptop, she's spending time with her husband, daughter, and two crazy cats. Keep up with her antics (which often include trips to Starbucks) on Google +.
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