Around this time last year I posted my predictions for 2007, and in the process tagged a few folks to do the same. This year after reviewing my predictions, I’ve decided to reformat the way my predictions for 2008 are proposed. On one hand I want them to be more accesible, I also want to be able to expand upon them a bit more. So without further ado, here is the basics of what I think is going to happen in 2008.

  1. Measurement will explode. Analytics of sites, communities, behaviors, patterns, relationships, and activities will reach everyone and everywhere. The amount of data to be crunched and processed will be immense. The companies with the ability to relate the data and crunch it effectively and efficiently will be in a great position.
  2. Social networks will continue to evolve. If you thought a lot of people’s attention was consumed by SocNets in 2007, you haven’t seen anything yet.
    1. Portability of your social graph and identity will emerge in LATE 08, not earlier. It won’t be driven by the major sites, but by the ecosystem (app developers, ad networks, etc.)
    2. OpenID in its current incarnation won’t be widely used. It WILL be widely supported though by the third quarter. Its still too geeky for average users.
    3. Ecosystem around Facebook will break $100 Million in revenue for the year. This is money the apps hooked into FB will generate.
    4. Ecosystem for apps hooked into MySpace will be big, but RPM on these pages will hover around 10% of facebook apps (data is poor, connections poor, and closeknit nature of the myspace graph will slow app growth here).
    5. OpenSocial Economy will be higher than myspace on a RPM, but significantly lower than Facebook. Reasons being: weaker connections (spam), inactivity rates of users, fewer US based customers.
    6. Combined the SocialApp Economy will push 200+Million. App installs will break a billion.
  3. Social Networking Application Platforms will mature. As will the apps on them.
  4. Communication streams will be evolving. Think of everyone having a personal activity RSS feed that everyone can integrate with. Activity feed and news feed for individuals = same thing.
  5. Twitter will grow over a million active. The ecosystem here is what’s interesting. Twitter itself will provide white label tools for businesses, interesting marketing opportunities, and grow its revenue substantially. They will announce profitability at the END of 2008, when they are bought by Yahoo or Microsoft. AOL could be a sleeper pairing too.
    1. Twitter’s ecosystem will support a handful of companies financially. People who make smart moves out of the SMS tools and the social graph tools.
  6. White label SocNet software will come out that supports FBML or OpenSocial out of the box. Think wordpress for social networks (Elgg is only one I know of). Maybe Ning will open source itself completely.
  7. Social Ads will evolve. Beacon was scary at first, but once its opt-in, and sites all over can participate, they will explode. Beacon like services will also be all over the place. Lookery is a great example. Scott Rafer is a very clever guy, don’t know him personally, but he seems to be keen on putting the pieces of this social graph together. (Compete, MyBlogLog, Lookery) (Hey Scott, shoot me an email, we should talk 🙂 ).
  8. Google will buy about 8 or 9 companies. Microsoft 6. Yahoo 4. AOL 4. IAC 3.
    1. We will see some amazing stuff from these companies past purchases finally piecing together. One thing we’ll see is the emergence of Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL fighting like crazy to dominate behavioral targeting of advertising. Combined the three amigos there have activity profiles on hundreds of millions of people. Look to Fox to try and partner with one of them to monetize MySpace/foxbusines/foxsports/etc. better.
  9. The way we look at interactions on the web will change. Networking will also change (keep an eye on LinkedIn, I see them evolving their business model to provide more services and value with their data, they have the worlds best resume/work history data of anyone). APML is worth watching too.
  10. I expect to see a new term emerge for what would be Web 3.0. If web 1.0 was the connections between documents (hyperlinks), web2.0 the facilitation of users creating those documents, then web 3.0 will be the connections between people. SocialWeb sounds simple and decent for this evolutionary phase.

What do you think?