It’s time to review how my Predictions 2012 are faring, now that half the year has slipped by (that was fast, no?).
One thing that stands out is the timing wrt Twitter – my first two predictions were about the company, and now that I think about it, given the news just this week (and the attendant debate), I should have realized how the two could be in direct conflict with each other. It all makes for some interesting chin stroking, which I’m busy doing while on vacation – fishing the Rio Blanco up above Meeker in Colorado. Yes, you may now give me shit for writing that.
But to the review: I’ll take them one at a time:
Twitter will become a force as a media company, not just a platform for others’ media.
Well, we’re only six months in, but I’d say this is happening, full force. From expanded tweets to hosting photos and videos to creating brand pages to major deals with entertainment companies, Twitter is certainly becoming a major media company. I predicted it will improve its Discover feature (it continues to – this is and has been critical to its success with Promoted Tweets, esp. in mobile), and that it’d roll out something like Flipboard. That hasn’t happened yet, but I’d wager it’s coming….
Every major player on the Internet will have to do a deal with Twitter, and Twitter will emerge as a Swiss like, open, neutral player in the battle for the consumer web.
Hmmm. I am not sure if this is happening quite as I might have predicted. Just this past week, Twitter cut LinkedIn off, but that doesn’t mean a new deal isn’t in the works, or that the way the old deal was going made anyone at either company – or their customers – happy. On other fronts, Twitter is flowing through search results at Bing, but no renewed deal with Google yet. Twitter is on stronger footing with Facebook than it was before – with a reciprocal deal finally in place. But its moves in media might mean it begins to act in a protective, domain-specific way over the next six months. I hope not. In other news, this move – the Twitter Transparency Report – is sure welcome news. I wrote about this just a few weeks ago….and suggested Twitter might be next. See: Google’s Transparency Report: A Good And Troubling Thing
Facebook will launch a web-wide competitor to AdSense.
Well, it’s certainly looking like this is coming true. Not only has Facebook begun the process by allowing its ads to be shown on Zynga.com, it also has offered its own inventory up for third-party exchanges. Both moves augur a next step: a web-wide competitor to AdSense. I’m still a bit nervous this won’t happen this year, but I’d wager it’s going to come at some point soon.
Despite doing well overall, Google will fumble one big play this year.
Well, early in the year, the Search Plus Your World fracas seemed quite a fumble, but that tempest has cooled, at least for now. However, the company is the target of several government probes, and it remains to be seen how its perceived early missteps might play out.
2012 may well be the biggest year of all for Internet M&A.
OK, I mentioned Instagram as a probable candidate, but it’s not like that wasn’t pretty damn obvious if you were paying attention. I don’t have all the numbers in, but man, it’s been a huge year so far for M&A in our space. We’ll see by the end of the year if it’s a record.
We’ll all start to question what role the corporation plays in our society and culture.
This one is fuzzy to begin with – it’s hard to prove such a zeitgeisty prediction. A challenge to Citizens v. United failed to get the court’s attention, had it been reviewed, we’d certainly be talking about this issue a lot more. I’d wager I might be a bit early on this one.
In which I cover ten or so other rapid fire predictions. In turn:
– Obama will win the 2012 election, thanks in part to the tech community rallying behind him due to issues like SOPA, visas, and free speech.
Can’t call this one yet!
– Both Apple and Amazon will make billion-dollar acquisitions. More interestingly, so will Facebook.
One down, two to go….
– Android will be brought to heel by Google, eliciting both massive complaints and cheers, depending on where you sit.
– Microsoft Windows Phone will become the Bing of mobile (IE, move into double digit market share).
– Microsoft Xbox will integrate meaningfully with the web (Kinect is key), and start to compete in social across the digital spectrum
This is happening in some ways (an ecosystem is developing) but I’m not sure yet about social…
– IBM will emerge as a key player in the consumer Internet.
– China will be caught spying on US corporations, especially tech and commodity companies. Somewhat oddly, no one will (seem to) care.
It’s happening, but we haven’t yet had the spectacular news (like the Google hack last year) that folks can then ignore.
– A heads up display for the web will launch that actually is worth using, but most likely in limited use cases.
Thanks, Google Glass!
All in all, not so bad for six months in. There’s still a lot of time to either prove me a fool, or of Nostradamus’ lineage.