Social media

What will the future of our industry look like? We asked the experts for their predictions.

Embracing anonymity
By Mitch Joel, president, Twist Image

While it’s easy to take a contrarian view of social media and digital marketing trends (everything from Facebook passing 500 million users to the growing popularity of location-aware platforms like Foursquare), it’s important to remember that a lot of what made the online world popular was the ability to be anonymous. That anonymity was quickly followed by the ability to be someone/something completely different from who you were in your offline world.
With all of this personal information that we’re publishing online, people still have a need/want to speak anonymously. While social networks and social media swells in popularity, and those companies that disclose and act “more human” benefit from real interactions with real human beings, there is a growing trend towards places that embrace those who do not wish to disclose who they are and what they’re up to, whether it’s individuals looking to block their IP from Hulu or the news of Wikileaks and what this means to media.
Some people simply feel more liberated to speak their mind knowing that who they are will not become a focal point. Look at what’s happening on Chatroulette and Formspring. While both offer the ability to fully disclose who you are, the main traffic comes from people wanting to connect in a more anonymous way. Does this mean that having The King from Burger King show up on Chatroulette is the future of digital marketing? Probably not. But based on the explosive growth of platforms that allow anonymity, your current/future digital marketing strategy may be well served by also embracing the anonymous side of the internet.

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