11 key predictions on the future of social media

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What will social media look like in 2039 ? Experts expect by then it will be integrated into wearables that will track our daily habits.

Once upon a time, there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. Our lives did not revolve around a stream of status updates, tweets, videos and filtered photos. That was just 10 years ago.

Since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in his Harvard dorm room on February 4, 2004, we've seen social media evolve from a fad to a phenomenon that has triggered a paradigm shift in the way the world communicates. It has empowered individuals to voice their opinions and concerns and share content on their mobile devices in ways no one could have imagined. Along the way, geopolitics and the world of business has been radically transformed.

We saw the dramatic impact social media wielded four years ago. It was a tool that helped spark the Arab Spring-a democratic civil uprising in the Middle East that began in Tunisia in December 2010, which helped force rulers from power in such countries as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Thanks to Twitter and other social media, people were able to protest and raise awareness in the face of repression. The revolution still continues.

No doubt, the power of social media is exponential. Numbers tell the story. Today there are 1.3 billion active Facebook users, with 82 percent of them coming from outside the U.S. and Canada. Twitter boasts 270 million active users that send 500 million tweets per day. And each day, 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube (that's 46,296 per second) and 60 million photos are uploaded on Instagram.

The trend has helped these tech disruptors go public at hefty valuations. Facebook, for example, went public in 2012. At the time, it was the biggest in technology and Internet history, with a peak market capitalization of more than $104 million. At press time it had reached a whopping $206.4 billion.

Fast-forward to the future, and we should see global social media usage continue on its upward trajectory. In just four years, eMarketer projects it will nearly double by 32.7 percent. By then 2.44 billion of the world's population will be on social networks.

While estimates through 2039 are not available, experts agree that by then, use of social media will be ubiquitous and integrated into our daily lives in a multitude of ways. It is expected social media will be integrated into wearables that track our habits, and virtual experiences will be part of the package. The challenge will be coping with the massive amounts of data that will deluge the masses.

While there's no crystal ball, we asked industry experts to give us their predictions on the future of social media.

Scroll through to see the "10 Predictions for Social Media in 2039"...

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Where do you think social media will be in 25 years? Share your prediction using #Social25.

TWEET THIS > "When news breaks in the future, it will be covered by a multitude of eyewitnesses streaming live video." @corybe


TWEET THIS > "In 2039 we'll be reading a fascinating long read about the last remaining social media expert." @gregory


TWEET THIS > "I think a shared consciousness and a version of telepathic communication is all very likely." Piera


TWEET THIS > "25 years from now, the way in which we both input and observe media will have completely shifted." @jeremarketer


TWEET THIS > "The internet will operate like electricity does today, as an unseen part of the infrastructure around us..." @skgreen


TWEET THIS > "The most dramatic change by 2039 will not only be the amount of data ... but the decision-making power of that data." @otis


TWEET THIS > "The term 'social media' will fade out of common use well before 25 years from now." @matthewknell


TWEET THIS > "[Social media] will become part of the fabric of our clothes, the glasses we wear and the shoes we put on..." @mkramer


TWEET THIS > "Wearables will completely replace tablets, and social media will hyper-accelerate Big Data." @Niketa


TWEET THIS > "VR helps you disconnect by putting you in a new, fully immersive world, and it will transform every industry." @jasonstein


TWEET THIS > "I don't think that there's going to be something called social media that people will be talking about in 30 years." @ellie


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