While we aren’t claiming to be certifiable psychics, we do believe that here at Vocus, we’re pretty good at watching what’s happening in the dynamic world of PR and social media to see where things might be heading next.
With 700 million members to keep happy, Facebook in particular has to be constantly evolving – so here are some features we wouldn’t be surprised to see on Facebook in the upcoming year or years:
- New language options. If we’re feeling creative, we can switch our language on Facebook to “English (Pirate)” or “English (Upside Down)” and in the future we could see more entertaining options for our inner nerd and child such as “Pig Latin”, “Elvish”, or “Klingon”.
- Trending. This functionality would account for Facebook displaying which topics are currently being talked about the most on the web and placing those at the top of your feed.For instance, if a new film has come out in theaters and the Internet is buzzing about it, Facebook would show you which of your friends are also talking about it and what they are saying.
- Integration with Google+. Facebook and Google+ are currently two heads of the same social media coin and the questions are more about how they can compete with one another as opposed to how they can work together. Just as Facebook can be synced with sites like Twitter and Formspring, a union between the two could be a benefit for both.
- Music Players. One cool thing about the MySpace age was that a user could pick a specific song to play on their page whenever another person visited. Facebook could integrate this as an option. An interesting idea for businesses looking to capture attention from new ‘Likes’.
- Chat Translation. This could be a very useful tool for a businessperson looking to make connections across continental lines via the web – a real-time translation tool that lets you chat with anyone in your chosen language.
- Multiple person video chat. While video chatting is currently available on Facebook, it can only be done between two individuals and not as a group. As a response to Google+’s “Huddle” feature, it would be a good idea for Facebook to tackle this feature in the near future.
- Photo editing. Facebook is one of the most expansive photo sharing sites on the web. It would be useful to have onsite tools that allow you not only to upload photos but add effects such as brightness, darkness, color change, or blur that could give you some leeway on the creative sharing of your images.
- Linking to profiles in chat windows. When you’re in a chat with someone on the Facebook page and you click on their name at the top of the chat window, it does not link to their profile but instead closes the window. By having it link to their profiles, it makes it easier to communicate via wall or see updates from people currently online without having to type in and search for their name.
- Event Check-In. You can be invited to events and say you will be attending them but it could be taken to a new level with the ability to “check in” to events via Facebook.You could then see who said they would attend an event but didn’t, or who said they might and did. If it’s a large event, then you can check to see who is already there and use the chat feature to meet up.
- Events Calendar. A visual representation of your Facebook events in the form of a calendar would make it much easier to see events across an entire month.
- “Dislike” button. People have been asking for a “dislike” feature on Facebook for years now to no avails but there’s still a chance that it is coming in the future.
- Customizable Chat. Wouldn’t it be great to create a chat with who you want when you want? If you’re having a meeting of the minds with coworkers, having the ability to create a chat window with just the specific people that you’d like to be meeting together can provide a real time solution to your conversational needs.
- Auto-tagging. Being able to auto-tag can make the process of uploading images easier – if Facebook could contain the metrics that address an individual’s facial features and then automatically applied them to anyone uploading photos on their friend list.
- Facebook Toolbar. A useful feature for following a link outside of Facebook. It would allow you to see new notifications while watching the offsite video, reading the article, etc.
- Status customization. Have you ever wanted to post a Facebook status in color to further emphasize what you were saying in your status? Or perhaps when you’ve made a post on your page you wanted to use color to make more people notice it? A future option for Facebook could be customization where you can change the alignment, font, and color of posts and status updates.
It’s hard to say where Facebook will go in the future (or when), but with its active membership base, changes are sure to come. In the meantime, if Facebook is a part of your marketing strategy (and if not – why not?), take a look at the Facebook apps you get with our new Vocus Marketing software suite – they’ll let you build a custom interactive page for your business that rivals any brand’s.
Image by birgerking (Creative Commons)
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