The Next Web

June 19, 2013
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Written by Jay Thornton

Battling an agglomeration of posts on web 3.0, I’d like to venture a posit. We’re there. Look around you. The “web 2.0” movement was marked by large headers, artsy footers, and a healthy dose of jQuery. Anyone can name 10 websites that LOOKED like that. Now revisit those sites. You see smaller headers, a content focus, and that delicate sheen of minimalism we creatives wear like a hipster merit badge. This steady transition got me thinking. What’s next?

Web 3.0 focused the web on content; albeit recycled, reshared, and repinned, but content. We’ve freely shared our profiles, accounts, demographic info, opinions, and a few great meme’s. I think with the next web, we’re growing up a bit. I see 5 trends… and no, lists aren’t one of them.

A push to privacy
Wow… these kids have been listening to their parents… and the news. Creepers abound and the growing trend among millennials and as importantly, teens, is privacy. Or at least anonymity. The Facebook days of “Hi, this is my real name. This is my home address, these are my family members, and this is every way to contact me… stranger” are ending. Teens and millennials are experiencing “Facebook Fatigue” in mass numbers and acting on it. They’re shifting to networks and apps that focus on content, not on the person. I’m looking at you Tumblr, Instagram, and Whisper.

AIM is back
Well, not really, but peer-to-peer is coming back en masse. Networks like Snapchat, kik, and WeChat are taking the youth market by storm. Here’s the kicker. If you’re old or uncool like me and have no friends, the apps are useless. Some offer finder options using your facebook contacts but I didn’t even have any friends on them. AND I’M ONLY 34!!!

Content is in
The sites making waves these days are doing so by way of content. Niche interest forums, image sharing sites, and shopping sites are in the growth segment. I talked to 5 different “millennials” about the websites they actually interact with. Results were surprising. Reddit, Imgur, Fab.com, and a few niche forums focused around film and video games. I didn’t get a Facebook, MySpace, or even a Twitter among them.

Social Shopping is a growth market
This one wasn’t as surprising to me. I’m an avid Fab.com shopper and have excersized more than a couple of the LivingSocial daily deals. What I was surprised about was the level of interaction the millennial crowd has within these and other networks. Wanelo and its accompanying app are the most commonly referenced I’ve seen in my research. After downloading, a quick set up, and some digging, I can definitely see that this network is going places.

Little bitty videos
We’ve been creating videos online for a while. It’s nothing new. What is new, though, is the length of clip and the ease of capture. Apps like Vine and Viddy are starting to make an impression, particularly among that goldmine group of millennials. Both offer those key elements we’ve been talking about. Slick, minimalist designs, low barrier to login, and relative anonymity. They limit capture to around 15 seconds and Viddy even throws in some “instagrammy” filters to assist in the editing process. On that topic, a recent release by Instagram has been made that video is coming soon. Like I said, the trend is growing.

I end this novel with my suggestions on a few of the rising stars of Web 3.5. These each fit into the points above. I’ve registered for each so should you check them out, look me up! Also, if anyone gets into Medium before me, let me know. Very interested in that one.

Medium – Medium is a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends.

Kik – Kik is the fast, simple and personal smartphone messenger. What’s not to love?

WeChat – WeChat provides multimedia communication with text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, photo/video sharing, location sharing, and contact information exchange.

Wanelo – Wanelo (“wah-nee-loh,” from Want, Need, Love) is an online community for all of the world’s shopping.

Vine – The best way to see and share life in motion

Viddy – A simple way to capture, create and share mobile videos with friends.

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