Ex­pect a Twit­ter back­lash in 2013


Austin American-Statesman - - CLASSIFIEDS - D Face­book’s IPO this year was weaker than ex­pected. Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg (cen­ter) rings the Nas­daq open­ing bell from Face­book head­quar­ters. contributed by ZEF nikolla Con­tact Omar L. Gal­laga at 445-3672.Twit­ter: @omarg

PlayS­ta­tion Vita also seem stuck in neu­tral. The 3DS did not take off the way Nin­tendo hoped, and de­spite some high-qual­ity hard­ware, the Vita has not been a break­out hit. Games on mo­bile de­vices like phones and tablets seem to be where peo­ple’s eyes and thumbs are parked now.

Last year I said: Mi­crosoft and Ap­ple would face off for con­trol of liv­ing room TV watch­ing and Netflix would try again to get out of the DVD busi­ness.

What ac­tu­ally hap­pened: We’re still wait­ing for Ap­ple to in­tro­duce a TV set. Mi­crosoft has ex­panded its TV of­fer­ings on Xbox 360 and Netflix, still an in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful player in stream­ing video, wisely kept its mouth shut about DVDs this year. The in­ter­est­ing shift has been com­pa­nies like Roku of­fer­ing Ap­ple TV al­ter­na­tives that are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar and ef­forts by ca­ble and satel­lite com­pa­nies to of­fer more stream­ing video op­tions. Even Nin­tendo’s Wii U is be­ing touted as a new way to watch and buy TV and on­line video.

Last year I said: Face­book would con­tinue to grow and have a record­set­ting IPO. Live chats on Face­book would in­flu­ence the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

What ac­tu­ally hap­pened: Boy, was I wrong about Face­book’s IPO. It was much weaker than ex­pected de­spite the com­pany’s proven track record for mak­ing money on ad­ver­tis­ing. Face­book did grow past a bil­lion users this year, but its in­flu­ence as a water cooler des­ti­na­tion has waned com­pared to Twit­ter, Buz­zfeed and Red­dit, which landed Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for an “Ask Me Any­thing” chat with users in Au­gust.

Last year I said: So­cial me­dia lo­ca­tion check-ins would fade as Gowalla shuts down and Foursquare tried to fig­ure out a way to shift to an­other kind of ser­vice.

What ac­tu­ally hap­pened: Google, Face­book and even Foursquare it­self have not been able to save the idea of check­ing in at lo­ca­tions to alert your friends or get dis­counts, an idea that feels passé. In­stead, new am­bi­ent lo­ca­tion apps like High­light, which alert you to what’s around you with­out the need to check in, seem more like the fu­ture, even if they’re far from main­stream.

Last year I said: Wear­able sen­sors would get cheaper and small enough to be worn all the time, track­ing our fit­ness and sleep­ing habits.

What ac­tu­ally hap­pened: De­spite my dis­ap­point­ment in its ac­tual per­for­mance, Nike’s FuelBand, which tracks your phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, ap­pears to be a big success. Prod­ucts like Fit­bit and a re­designed Jaw­bone Up are draw­ing pos­i­tive at­ten­tion, and apps con­tinue to im­prove to help us keep fit and rec­og­nize our daily pat­terns. It’s a trend that’s still on track.

Last year I said: Ap­ple will in­tro­duce a 15” MacBook Air, as well as rede- signs of the iPod, the iPhone, iPad and iMac. Ap­ple may roll out its own stream­ing mu­sic ser­vice un­der pres­sure from ser­vices like Spo­tify.

What ac­tu­ally hap­pened: Th­ese were pretty easy ones to pre­dict and all came true ex­cept the 15” Air. Ap­ple did bring sharper screens with “Retina Dis­play” tech­nol­ogy to some of its pricier lap­tops. It in­tro­duced two new iPad models this year plus a smaller iPad Mini. Sur­pris­ingly, Ap­ple still hasn’t cre­ated an iTunes monthly sub­scrip­tion ser­vice or an­nounced any ma­jor moves in TV for 2012.

Not too bad! Now here’s five quick pre­dic­tions for 2013:

Yes, an Ap­ple TV: It may not be un­til the end of 2013, but Ap­ple’s all but an­nounced that it plans to get into the TV hard­ware mar­ket. It may take longer for Ap­ple to get the de­tails right than orig­i­nally hoped, but ex­pect an HDTV with Ap­ple soft­ware built into it, fi­nally, and for ri­vals like Roku, Boxee and per­haps even Ama­zon to try to get there first.

Ama­zon makes a big move: Em­bold­ened by its success in e-read­ers and tablets, Ama­zon will try to ex­tend its em­pire, per­haps with a smart phone (a dumb idea) or its own TV or on­line en­ter­tain­ment and TV chan­nel (much smarter).

So­cial me­dia shake­out: A big back­lash against Twit­ter cul­ture will take hold as peo­ple be­gin to get burned out on be­ing con­stantly con­nected and many be­gin to aban­don so­cial me­dia in search of less all-con­sum­ing ways to com­mu­ni­cate. “I’m tak­ing a Twit­ter break” will be an oft­heard boast in 2013.

Mi­crosoft’s worst year: Bad buzz on Win­dows 8, weak Sur­face tablet sales and a lack of adop­tion of its on­line Of­fice prod­ucts will lead to a huge run of bad luck for the soft­ware maker that will shake up its al­ready shaken PC part­ners, too. Be­ware, HP, Dell, Acer and the rest.

Mo­bile wal­let pay­ments de­nied: Re­al­ity will catch up to the hype of mo­bile phone pay­ments. Too many com­pet­ing stan­dards, con­fus­ing sign-up and hard­ware re­quire­ments for mer­chants and cus­tomers, and a nag­ging sense that this doesn’t make things much eas­ier, more con­ve­nient or se­cure com­pared to paying for things with plain old plas­tic will con­tinue to keep the mo­bile wal­let con­cept from tak­ing hold.

Got your own pre­dic­tions? Share them with us on the Dig­i­tal Sa­vant blog at austin360.com/dig­i­tal­sa­vant.

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