2011 saw a glorious end. It was quite an eventful year, a roller-coaster ride of global events and stories. We saw many Tech stories dominating the headlines throughout last year, from the launch of Google Plus to protesters using Social Media as a tool and hacking attacks in late December (2011).
We were active throughout the year, meeting religiously every week to discuss, debate, interact and dissect trends in social media and tech world. The last meetup of the year (86th), was re-scheduled to January 6th, 2012 and we discussed the top tech/social media stories of 2011 and attempted to predict the trends which would dominate our world in 2012.
2011 Roundup Plus Trends which would rollover to 2012
Use of Social Media as a Tool for Protesters
This has been a global phenomenon, 2011 has been the year of protests. From unrest in the middle east, Occupy Wall Street to Anna Hazare campaign in India. Even the riots in Britain were touched by tech. (Blackberry messenger remember?) 2011 saw the emergence of Social Media as a tool for protests, with live videos, photo streams, tweets, Facebook updates and mobile text messages. This would be a trend which would rollover to 2012 with a stronger force.
Google Plus Launch
2011 saw Google getting all aggressive with Google Plus. After failed social attempts (Google Buzz, Google Waves, Orkut?) too much was on the line. And end of 2011 saw Google throw its weight behind its Social Network, merging search and social. Google Plus took the spot as the fastest growing social network in history. Some pundits estimate that in 2012 Google Plus would hit 400 million users. But in our discussions, the story was little different. With our friends still on Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus isn’t an exciting option to spend most part of our social media time. What happens in 2012 would be interesting to watch.
Facebook Timeline and IPO
Facebook Timeline was by far the biggest change for Facebook in 2011. Launching Timeline for its 800 million users was quite a feat, with the risk of wrath from people who resist change. 2012 will see Facebook’s IPO come out, a much awaited event. How would Facebook change after that would be interesting to observe. From connecting people to making profit. Also 2012 would see Facebook hitting the 1 billion user mark, are we looking at Social Exhaustion?
Do you remember the news reports about Sony Playstation early in 2011? 70 million Playstation users’ credit card data was compromised causing massive embarrassment and damages to Sony. Then in June Citibank’s 200,000 accounts were compromised. The biggest hit of 2011 was the one which brought MasterCard down – Operation Payback (in response to Julian Assange arrest). Do we have bigger attacks waiting to happen or would the hacker groups be reined in, something to watch in 2012.
Indian Government’s attack on Social Media
We had a meetup on this boiling topic few weeks back. With Indian Government going after Social Networks to censor their content. We did a poll and got 50 responses, check this post for update on it. 2012 would be interesting to watch how this issue evolves, since the Government has given a deadline to websites and social networks to have censorship policies in place.
The Mobile Explosion
2011 saw the emergence of smartphones, a wide array of devices, faster and improved OS’s. From Apple’s iPhone 4S to Google/Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. 2012 seems promising looking at the reports from the CES show in San Francisco. Faster processors, Thinner Tablets and a whole new bag of apps. Let’s hope the prices are the only thing which go south.
On Personal Note
The trends will continue and technologies will evolve. But 2011 was about death of Steve Jobs. Building an iconic company, world’s most loved brand and products which are built with fanatical dedication to quality, where technology transcends to art. Steve revolutionized many industries from mobile to publication. A personal inspiration and an industry icon, he’ll be missed.