2013 Will Be The Year Of…

We don’t have a crystal ball. But if we did, and it worked, here’s what we think we would be seeing as the big web trends for 2013.

  1. Active Design
  2. The ad industry has spent the past decade learning to deliver the optimal ad to the right user at the right time. There is no reason to limit these technologies to the advertising space.

    Active Design will be a new design language, using rich targeting data to deliver a personalized experience to every visitor.

    Example: Facebook Edgerank uses a complex algorithm to deliver a personalized Facebook wall that features the most relevant content to each user.

  3. Insights Over Analytics
  4. Deep analytics are great for people with the time, skills, and resources to manage them. Insights platforms will cut to the chase by analyzing all available data and featuring the key insights. These automated solutions will save publishers time, staff, and money.

  5. Social Unbundling
  6. Marketers and publishers are becoming increasingly frustrated with their lack of control over Facebook and Twitter, and will begin to take back control of their content, communications, and CRM. Facebook and Twitter will continue to serve as hubs for social engagement, but the richer content and experiences will be reserved for the brand’s domain.

    Example: ReadWrite does not share long form content on Facebook. Rather, they share rich images, a compelling burst of copy, and a link back to their socially-linked owned-and-operated domain.

  7. Experience-Driven Advertising
  8. Advertising alone is not the answer to content monetization. In ever greater scope and scale, publishers will find additional revenue streams within their limited on-screen real estate by embracing a new class of experience-driven monetization solutions. These solutions will bundle advertising alongside user value in a single unit. Native ads were just the beginning. We’re entering an experiential, value-driven ad era.

    Example: Buzzfeed bundles sponsored content alongside native content, bringing value to the user and new revenues to Buzzfeed.

  9. Cross-Platform Experiences
  10. Our mobile phones and tablets are becoming more than an extension of our desktop computing; they are an extension of our day-to-day lives. We sit on the couch and watch TV with a tablet or phone in hand. As an industry, we haven’t yet cracked the true value of a second screen experience or mobile integration. Someone is going to deliver a breakthrough offering, and it’s going to hit this space like a tidal wave.

    This could come from an incumbent, but it’s just as likely to come from a wildly popular startup. Bottom line: It’s coming, and it’s going to make us forget the days before this was a part of our lives.

  11. Visual Communications
  12. We are becoming a more visual society. Whether its smarter design interfaces or Instagram sharing, never before have we been as aware of our visual cues and messages as we are today. Brands and publishers are just beginning to learn to better leverage imagery to speak the language of the people and to spark dialogue. The next revolution won’t be tweeted in 140 characters, but rather captured and shared in 5-to-8-megapixel images.

    Example: Visual memes spread far faster than quotes. President Obama’s highly visual victory tweet became the most retweeted image of all time.

    See full presentation here