One thing we can all agree on is that the web is constantly changing and evolving. Following the ‘Web 2.0’ revolution of a few years ago, which saw the web becoming increasingly about engagement and interactivity, many are asking “What’s next?” Doubtless the next few years will see Facebook and Google slog it out to see who can become top dog, but what about us mere mortals? How will the web change and how will it affect us?
Recently we were provoked by the idea that the next revolution on the web would involve filtering.
Let us explain.
If you’re like most users of Twitter, you’ll have several hundred profiles you’re following. If some of those profiles are rather prolific, you’ll find that your Twitter stream is more like a torrent, with tweets appearing faster than you’re able to read them and a growing sense of frustration that you can’t read the ones that really interest you.
Perhaps the same is also true of your Facebook profile. It could be so crammed full of ‘friends’ that your nearest and dearest are pushed to one side, overtaken by a tidal wave of Farmville requests, meaningless photos of drunken nights out and gushing comments about someone you’ve never met and their new pet tarantula.
And so we start filtering.
We filter when we go to the supermarket and we’re faced with 250 different types of wafer-thin ham. Most of us (those on the Atkin’s diet aside) only buy one. Likewise, when it comes to buying a new home, we naturally filter what’s on offer; by location, bedrooms, garden etc.
Filtering is our way of not being overwhelmed by choice and it’s arguably one key development in the web over the coming years. The truth is, every day we’re bombarded with more information than we know what to do with. And our social media profiles are no exception. We will be forced to filter in light of the amount of information we just can’t process, nor want to deal with.
If Web 2.0 was about ‘opening up’ then Web 3.0 is most definitely about ‘shutting up’. Shutting up the brands, profiles and people that simply don’t interest us and filtering the way we receive information online. Getting ‘behind the veil’ to really speak to consumers is going to become increasingly challenging for brands. Clever, creative and interactive social media campaigns will be needed.
But before you all run screaming for the hills, the good news is that Web 3.0 will be more about building brand advocacy; inspiring consumers to do a brand’s bidding on their behalf. Apple is a fantastic example of this. Yes, their advertising is spot on, but we’re really won over when our friends talk up the new iPhone4S, tell us about the latest iPad app, or wax lyrical about AppleTV.
Brand advocacy may be harder to develop, but the results and rewards make it the holy grail for marketers. We’ll leave you with a rather irritating song that just about sums up our point:Tags: Facebook, filter, Google, Twitter, Web 2.0, Web 3.0
PR & social media, with a bit more