December 12, 2016

Technology and blogging predictions for 2017: main trends

Let's begin with the blogging and technology trends forecast by us this time last year. They all proved right except one: no 'mobile first' blogging app has emerged. But, everything having become mobile-centric and social-centric, that is indeed not needed.

You can visit here the ITB predictions for 2016.

The reason we proved right was, we didn't predict big just by seeing some nascent trends emerge. We have always been conservative on that. For 2017 too, we do not foresee any major trend or tech upheaval.
   

What's in store in tech in 2017?


We have seen a number of experiments and offers from tech and social media companies. We feel, the following areas would keep generating interest in 2017:

Virtual and augmented reality. We have seen Pokemon Go, VR sets, 360 degree photography, circular video, and so on. 

Entertainment and sports are OK, but VR does not seem to move fast into mainstream. The lack of massive content and the need to wear hardware will keep it in check, it appears. Augmented reality would be more in play but only so much.

Among tech biggies, after Google's Cardboard and then Cardboard Plastic, Snapchat introduced fun Spectacles. Of course, a number of VR gear has come in the market, not bound to platforms. Yet, their usage is likely to be limited.

They are talking about 'mixed commerce' in which virtual, 3D models replace real models or samples. We don't see much traction in this direction.

Virtual assistants. Aren't you already using one or more of these: Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana?

We are not talking here of VAs for business, but personal VAs that assist you in finding a restaurant or fuel outlet nearby, searching something, recalling some expression that you commonly use but have suddenly forgotten, suggesting an edit, dialing a number, and so on. 

It appears that the new ones such as Google Assistant, which go beyond the desktop functions, might catch on, especially if IOT becomes more common.

Well, if you are not sure what IOT is, it is Internet of Things. Simply speaking, things such as TV, fridge, mobile phone, laptop being connected in a smart way. You being able to control them from your mobile phone or laptop.

Live video, video calls. Big messaging platforms have been introducing them: Facebook, Whatsapp, Periscope, Instagram, ...

Our take is that 'selfie' will graduate into instant video sharing in areas with good bandwidth. More video will be available live on companies'/ people's YouTube channels and on other platforms. A fraction of voice calls will convert into video calls. 

It has been predicted that over four-fifths of internet traffic by 2020 would be in the form of video.

One thing about videos that we forget when getting swayed by their visual superiority over audio and images is that video is obtrusive and it demands that you watch it. On the other hand, audio does not demand your full attention, and images can be consumed within a fraction of time that video watching demands. So, we feel that the current visual and audio formats would remain dominant for communication for quite some time   
 

Blogging and social media in 2017

  
The trends we have been seeing for over 2-3 years  will continue. It means:

The growth of traditional blogging would be flat but overall the number of blogs would remain as many.

New forms will call themselves 'blog'. In fact, messages on social platforms, which are bigger than Twitter size would start qualifying for "I wrote a blog/ post on ..." This is more likely in non-English social space in developing countries because most newcomers would adopt social media without first practicing long-form blogging.

More and more postings on social blogs and messaging apps will be visual and instant

There will be even fewer comments on blogs but blog posts will be shared more, mostly using social buttons.

Blogs will be browsed more on mobiles than on desktops or laptops.Going with it, all affiliate marketing companies and advertisers will think 'mobile first' as many already have started doing.
   

No disruptive tech emerging?


We do not see a technological development that is likely to disrupt the present platforms or the way we use tech. We would perhaps have to live with incremental advancements.