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Top 5 Social Media Predictions for 2014

Nearly ten years ago now, a certain introverted college sophomore launched from his dorm room thefacebook.com—a campus-exclusive website that allowed people with a Harvard email address to upload onto it their photos and personal information. Four days after thefacebook.com went live, its creator Mark Zuckerberg proudly told his college newspaper that 650 students had signed up.

Today, ‘the Facebook’ has well over a billion active users spanning the globe. It generates an average of 4.5 billion likes and nearly 5 billion things shared on it, per day and is estimated to be worth over $100 billion. Meanwhile, other social network bigwigs like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ all boast userbases in the hundreds of millions, and have pretty much become household names. Seventy-two percent of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from just 8 percent in 2005.

It’s official. In under a decade, social media has gone from scoffed at to mainstream.

via HootSuite.

Encrypted social network vies for disgruntled WhatsApp, Facebook users

With the look of Google Plus and Facebook-like elements, a new social network named ”Syme” feels as cozy as a well-worn shoe.

But beneath the familiar veneer, it’s quite different. Syme encrypts all content, such as status updates, photos and files, so that only people invited to a group can view it. Syme, which hosts the content on its Canada-based servers, says it can’t read it.

“The overarching goal of Syme is to make encryption accessible and easy to use for people who aren’t geeks or aren’t hackers or who aren’t cryptography experts,” said co-founder Jonathan Hershon.

Hershon is part of a bright trio who have self-funded Syme’s development while working out of their homes and studying at McGill University in Montreal. Hershon is studying psychology, Louis-Antoine Mullie is a medical student with a strong technology background, and Christophe Marois, who works on the user interface, studies music.

“We have very low operating costs,” Hershon said.

via PCWorld.

Facebook is for grandparents: What we need in a next-gen social network

It’s time to move on. The feeling is becoming more and more significant with each passing day and it just keeps spreading.

It’s just not it any more… we want something new, exciting, which can take us places we’ve never been. We want to be surprised again. We want a new, better social network.

Facebook may say its user base is growing, but original members from the last decade appear to be leaving in droves. As more niche networking services and platforms enter the space, people are finding that not any one company is serving all of their networking needs. Our tastes and channels are becoming fragmented, and users are pushing back on accepted norms in the social media space.

This is inevitable. It’s a natural life cycle for any product; unless it somehow becomes a living organism with its own reproductive system and evolution, one will eventually wither and die. Facebook cannot evade this process – it regenerates with nuances, but is not reinventing itself.

via The Next Web.