Social Media

2016 Predictions

I made some social media/tech predictions for 2016, in no particular order:

  • Brands will cease using hashtags as part of every new awareness campaign. They’ll go back to using evergreen mantras (e.g. ‘Just Do It’ or ‘Think Different’).
  • Millennials and Generation Z will mock Facebook for being ‘uncool’ but continue to use it. Remember, logging in once/month makes you an “active” user.
  • Snapchat will generate millions of views but TV will still win out in marketing efficacy and ad dollars.
  • My friends will discontinue wearing their iWatch. Why? They’re not as simple and single-purposes as other wearables like Fitbit. Plus, your smartphone does all the same things better.
  • Analog tools (vinyl, paper, pens) will thrive with digital products because they offer a sense of control. They also tug at nostalgia.
  • Everyone will still act like pigeons, pecking at their screens, especially ‘Generation thumbs’
  • The New York Times will pass the Washington Post in paying subscribers. Thank you Bezos for reviving good journalism.
  • The ordinary will become extraordinary. Expect more projects like Humans of New York to gain widespread popularity. BTW, have you heard of my series called “Neverlookup?”
  • Tech heads will snark about peak podcast and blogs, confusing them for what they are: another form of radio and op-ed writing.
  • More startups will take advantage of mobile Internet connectivity to create new marketplaces (e.g. Uber)
  • Tumblr will continue to be the starting place for Internet culture. Reddit will follow.
  • Celebrities will send “friends” their snaps in private but end up seeing their content on TMZ, E, and all the tabloids. What great friends!
  • Facebook will monetize its chat apps: FB messenger and WhatsApp
  • Instagram will rake in $1 billion in advertising revenue
  • Virtual reality/3D glasses will start making their way into American homes, whether it’s Google Cardboard or the high-end hardware/software of Oculus Rift. Big video games won’t come out until 2017.
  • VSCO Cam will continue to differentiate its product from Instagram and remain true to itself as an app for artists.
  • NatGeo photographer Amy Vitale will keep us laughing with her panda photos.
  • Netflix, YouTube, Amazon’s servers, and WordPress will hog the Internet.
  • You still won’t own your Kindle books. You’ll rent them although Amazon wants you to think otherwise.
  • There will be new emojis, a new iPhone, and new YouTube stars


  • Wifi will be the number one AirBnB concern over anything else, even water.
  • The Warriors will win again.
  • Taking a photo with an iPad will still look ridiculous
  • What’s important will never be popular.


None of the things listed above will actually be new.

Share on:

By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.