Most of Your Site's Visitors Will Soon Be Mobile, and Social
According to the report, by 2013 there will be 4 million more Internet-enabled phones in use than computers. What this means for developers and businesses is that the dynamics of websites will have to change. Statistics show that mobile users don't click through as often as PC users. As the Garter report bluntly states it, "Websites not optimized for the smaller-screen formats will become a market barrier for their owners. Much content and many sites will need to be reformatted or rebuilt." Sites that aren't optimized for mobile users will simply lose those potential visitors.
Also mentioned is how social networking will continue to cultivate society in general, with Facebook pulling out a strong lead by 2012. By using tools such as Facebook Connect and other social technologies, Facebook will become a leading influence in what we know as social networking--a living, constantly evolving, distributed social web of people, musicians, businesses and resources. Facebook's popularity will take on an even more important role that could make or brake the success of other social networks and media websites.
Within the next five years, contextual observation will play a much more important role in mobile content services. Hyper-personalized experiences through mobile devices will rely on context to provide the key for working relationships with businesses and websites. By observing patterns of mobile users, using localization and social interactivity, context will provide the mechanism which will drive the users to the content provided by those sites that will lead this mobile revolution. Much like social networking sites such as MySpace have targetted advertising to users based on their personal interests, location and friends, context-based services will automatically provide this targetted content to users. The trend will be unlike PC-based web usage, where search dominates, but rather an experience where the user is presented with the content that they are already interested in, automatically.
Instead of the typical paradigm of websites being content providers, this new business model be the "context provider." Traditional enterprises, be they a precense on the web, a device, software, or infrastructure, will be competing with context providers to grab the focus of consumers, and this will largely dictate those enterprise's business models, both on the web and mobile delivery systems.
While Google's Nexus may have started the year with a whimper rather than a roar, close to 2 million new mobile devices were sold in the first week of the new year (from a Flurry analytics report). If your business isn't mobile, then it won't be going anywhere.