Having begun a digital marketing course with Google Squared this month, we’ve been tasked with considering the class of 2015. In particular, how will youngsters of the future use digital media, using which platforms and what type of tech? And how could it affect their expectations?
These are fascinating questions. Principally because technology and its use is changing at a rapid rate; and this will continue, while-ever companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and other platform and software developers constantly research and develop their products and services. All driven by commercial gain, of course.
Google Glass has arrived but it’s still in a developmental period. However, Techradar speculate that early 2014 may deliver a much-anticipated release date. Developer editions have been sold to test users for around £1,000 but it’s anticipated that pairs will retail for less than this.
The face of the early adopter
In January 2012, go-gulf reported the majority of mobile phone users were 18-34 years of age and next year, it’s anticipated, mobile phone internet usage will overtake that on laptops and desk top devices. It’s likely then that the Class of 2015 will be among the first cohort of Google Glass users. Though, the cost of this unit will be a barrier for some.
So what will this mean in terms of how online media is created and consumed? Glass will likely form another device category in Google Analytics where marketing metrics are concerned. But beyond that, the ease and speed with which Google Glass allows users to create videos and capture imagery by voice command will exponentially increase the amount of data uploaded to the web. Bearing in mind that over 250 million photos are already uploaded every day (Cara Pring, 2012)
If you get annoyed with others using their mobile devices while out and about, at gigs for example, Google Glass negates the need to pick up a device, point it and click. Instead, this new form of voice activated technology will turn the Class of 2015 into instant multi-media architects. All of whom will become social media superiors, uploading images and statuses faster than their friends who don’t own a pair. Interestingly, instantaneous interactivity may become a pre-requisite feature of future tech developments – and let’s face it, to some extent we’re already there.
Facebook Versus YouTube
The popularity of current platforms may change. Ted Wasserman, Mashable’s Business Editor, reported last week that Facebook had seen a decrease in younger teen users on the site. Instead, this particular demographic favoured YouTube. In fact, YouTube now reaches more 15-34 year olds in the UK than ITV (thanks for the heads-up, Rob Edlin at Niddocks). It will be interesting to see how terrestrial broadcasters develop their programme mix moving forwards, if they wish to claw back the interests of this age group.
It’s likely there are many more new platforms currently under development and some waiting stage-side, at present hidden in a digital realm, but nonetheless all waiting to emerge and win the hearts of online users. Take a moment to consider that the internet was first used in 1971, the first blogging platform created in 2001, Facebook was opened up for wider user in 2006, and Instagram was born in 2010 – gaining one million users in only two years.
Parasitic buttons and services such as like, share this, embed, favourite and bookmark also allow content to quickly spread across the digital landscape. With such options at their finger tips, it’s fair to anticipate the way in which the Class of 2015 use digital media and its platforms will be transformed in response to a world of accelerating change.
How will this affect digital marketers?
Changes in technology will dictate when and where people use different mediums to communicate but essentially, how people choose to use them will dominate marketers’ thinking. The internet has enabled large groups of people to connect and act online, from Crowdfunder, CrowdCube and Kickstarter to garner capital, to dating apps such as E-harmony, Plenty of Fish, Zoosk and new kid on the block, Tinder. Consequently, engaging the Class of 2015 will require an ear to the ground approach, more than ever before.
However, if marketers cut through the digital noise by posting remarkable content where their audiences hang out, the development of new technologies and social platforms will continue to provide fertile ground.