It feels like there's a new app or platform being released every day—some new tool for communication or consumption. But we don't want to mindlessly scroll for hours: We want deeper relationships, deeper focus, deeper experiences. We used to be fascinated by reconnecting with old high school friends, but now we're figuring out how social media can actually help us.

People like visuals, so in the future, photo- and videocentric networks like Instagram will likely be king. Plus, visuals transcend language and generational barriers. A picture does the talking for you.

Apple is deploying location awareness technology with iBeacon, which means your Apple Watch or iPhone may soon ping you when you enter a store: You've bought Tide here before, so here's a $2 coupon. Share it with a friend to get a bigger discount. That data might even be used to match potential friends: You're both women in your 40s who love Tom's of Maine—why not message each other?

Right Now, Google is developing stratospheric balloons that provide Internet access, meaning that the whole planet may soon be connected to social media. Eventually everything—from booking a vacation to buying toilet paper—will become social as we share more data. Regular life won't be separate from "social life"—it'll be seamlessly intertwined.


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