Yep, it’s that time of year; time to reflect on the big themes and developments of the past 12 months, and for us that means a look back at the digital marketing world of 2010. You’ll have your own take on what was important of course, so do let us know!
For me there were three main themes, okay four, possibly five (but two are linked… actually, they all are, we live in meshed and interconnected times):
• The rise and continual development of Facebook as the de facto web destination for a huge proportion of the planet’s online citizens
• The debate around apps versus the browser
• The ongoing growth in Smartphone usage which is interlinked with all three of the above (and the proliferation of OS options, its not just about iphones as you well know).
• The rise of WordPress as the dominant blogging platform and the way in which it democratised brand presence , customer engagement and dialogue and marketing content publishing for all types of businesses and brands.
• The continuing shift from Brand ‘push’ to Customer ‘pull’ was evident in 2010 as well. (Hmm, that’s six themes now…)
I think the themes above defined a lot of 2010 in terms of the tools and services and ‘paradigm shift’ that afforded any marketer an increasing range of opportunities to connect effectively with their customer base.
I’m not going to detail each of the themes above but I did want to expand a bit on Facebook specifically.
Word association: ‘2010’ + ‘marketing’ = Facebook
2010 was the year in which Facebook really consolidated its role as the hub for a lot of people’s online life. Facebook made it easy for you to set it as your home page and it also made it easy for you to share your likes and recommendations with friends when on other websites. It has massive reach in and out of Facebook itself.
Since social plug-ins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day. In total, more than two million websites have integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites.
To merge in another of those themes (Smartphone usage): there are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. And smartphones make being social very easy. According to the social network itself, people that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on it as non-mobile users.
And in tough economic times, a new industry has been built around it – There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products, keeping a lot of developers busy.
It’s worth remembering as well, that approximately 19% of all mobile phones are now smartphones.
Facebook is constantly evolving: Places (and Deals) as its offering in location based services, Messages (billed as the Gmail killer, although it isn’t actually email and will launch next year but was talked about a lot this year) and a huge and growing number of apps / plug-ins to tailor Facebook functionality and your social experience.
Will Facebook continue to dominate as much of social communications, social commerce, and social messaging next year? Err, Yes. Brian Solis noted the rise of Facebook in 2010 and what it will shape up to in 2011.
I really liked the Facebook movie, The Social Network, by the way, (and so did lots of others – it got the more golden globe nominations than any other film).
This was just a quick roundup, you could dedicate a page or ten to all the themes above really.
And to a few others; I could also have added Augmented Reality as a theme in 2010 (in that it didn’t fully take off as predicted – certainly not as a personal navigation utility, possibly as a PR-able brand marketing and promo technology?)
I could have also talked about the privacy versus utility debate that raged around Facebook and what it does or doesn’t do with all that data you happily feed it everyday and how things like Diaspora came onboard. But Diaspora is still in closed alpha so it didn’t quite make the 2010 round up.
What do you think was a big theme this year?
And – what about some predictions for 2011? Another blog post entirely I think!