Let’s talk about trends, part one

Let’s talk about trends, part one


It has reached that time of the year when I write about the possible digital trends of 2018. It is always fun to talk about the future, and when the future arrives, to look back and see if my predictions came true.

Last year I said Augmented and Virtual Reality Technologies (AR/VR) would be used everywhere. Looking back at 2017, I see that I was half right. AR/VR has been adopted by many industries, from entertainment to medical, though the progress is much slower than I initially anticipated. That is why 2018 will be the year when AR/VR goes global. The technology is mature enough, the prices are going down and the necessary content is being produced all over the World.

According to the 2018 Ogilvy Trends report, the end of typing is nigh. I enjoy typing, and do not feel especially inclined to use typing for everything, though apparently hardly anyone is like me.

ComScore says 50 percent of internet searches will be done by voice by 2020. Gartner believes 30 percent of searches will not even use a screen by 2020. At present, Google says 20 percent of searches in the U.S. on Android devices are done by voice.

In the UK, Deloitte discovered that 36 percent of smartphone owners are aware of voice search functions but only 11% use them regularly. Some 60 percent of people using voice have started in the last year, according to Mindmeld. Voice searches are three times more likely to focus on a local topic than a text search. And people are shifting to voice for an obvious reason: It is easier and more efficient than typing. We will soon be discussing voice-search-optimized websites.

Another mega trend involves fixing the web. According to Ogilvy, the web has issues. Trolls, the dark web, attacks on individual privacy, the hyper-efficient spread of misinformation and cyberwarfare pose serious threats, and have rightly attracted the attention of governments.

For business people, there are problems concerning fraud and effectiveness as well real questions about whether investments in digital marketing are worthwhile. Trolling has become a massively problematic source of disruption across the Web. Hiding behind a cloak of anonymity, no-one - from public figures to journalists and students - is immune to abuse.

The report states that the rise of trolling has been fueled by U.S. President Donald Trump, who is arguably Twitter’s most prodigious and effective troll, and the platform’s most prominent user. I have written on a similar issue in a Turkish-language article. Trolls, especially ones who obviously receive funding from leading parties, are harming the Turkish-language social media. They are turning what we love about the social media – freedom of speech – into a weapon of mass disturbance.

In 2017 we witnessed numerous data breaches. Uber lost 57 million customer records, Yahoo as many as 3 billion, U.S.-based credit bureau Equifax lost 143 million. U.K. health insurer BUPA lost 500,000. Restaurant app Zomato lost 17 million. U.K. mobile operator Three, payday lender Wonga, Mexican food chain Chipotle, accountancy Deloitte, clothing shop Brooks Brothers, and even the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission all acknowledged serious security breaches and data loss.

Now we hear stories of hackers stealing millions of dollars of bitcoin from thousands of digital wallets.

My prediction is this: Either we take these issues seriously and address them with tangible initiatives or the internet will be broken for good. Expect an increase in cyber security legislation and changes in content rules for social media outlets. There will be many more trends to examine in the coming weeks.

Virtual reality,