It’s a little early, but we wanted to get a jump on the competition. Here are the Deft Labs social tech predictions for 2008:
We don’t believe there will be the massive rush to develop applications for LinkedIn. We think recruiting, consulting and contact management applications will have a lot of success on LinkedIn. We also think LinkedIn should purchase Meetup.
Pulse is a solid product and we believe Plaxo will continue to grow this year. We don’t expect them to overpower LinkedIn but solid growth is expected. We’ll see how they do in the 3rd party application space.
With a war chest of approximately $300M (minus whatever people took off the table) we expect Facebook will continue to invest heavily in infrastructure and R&D. We expect to see their user base go to at least 100M this year. Application development will continue at an amazing rate but we’re fearful we may start to see application neglect work its way into the system. If 3rd party application developers don’t maintain their products then you will see start seeing errors. We also predict that 2008 will be a year of consolidation for 3rd party applications. Application prices are low and someone will come in and buy a lot of them.
We believe the MySpace network will continue to be cannibalized by Facebook and other social networks. They will continue to produce innovative ways to promote content but we see a lot of their users migrating to other platforms.
Valuations of social networks will come down to something reasonable and Ning will scoop up a handful of smaller players to create a large network.
OpenSocial will continue to grow and mature. Facebook has about a 9-12 month technology lead on Google but if platforms continue to adopt the technology it should do well in the long run. OpenSocial has a long way to go to capture developer mindshare and releasing a product prematurely doesn’t help.
This is the year of OpenId! There are over 120M OpenIds in existence and the list of major tech companies that have already or are in the process of adopting the technology is impressive. Expect major growth in this area.
The massive adoption of RSS has been amazing; however, too many people still don’t get it. Expect to see companies start further monetizing their RSS feeds. We don’t think the subscription model is the proper way to monetize RSS feeds. Innovative advertising will win in this market.
Blog adoption and growth is dependent on the tools available. We expect WordPress to take a large step forward this year at the expense of Blogger and LiveJournal.
Tumblr has drastically simplified blogging. Their micro-blogging approach has gained a very loyal audience. We expect great things from this young company.
Twitter has revolutionized how people communicate. The use of Twitter in business isn’t widespread outside of the tech community but we predict its adoption will continue to grow. Truly private Twitter groups would drastically speed the adoption rate by teams.
Have a great year!