With the recent acquisition of WhatsApp, technologists are imagining paths to connect people in more ways.
Media technologist and co-founder of and partner at Lux Digital, Deanna Zandt sees the future of mobile apps heavily relying on the idea of having someone to talk to.
“People crave intimacy as people are alone in the world and are addicted to technology to feel less alone in the world,” she said.
At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, keynote speaker and founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg noted his initiative to provide access to people around the world as a part of the Internet.org vision.
“It’s only about a third of people have any access to the internet,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s actually growing way slower than you imagine.”
While the Internet is growing slower than people can think of, younger audiences are looking to apps to understand their lives and their choices.
Lauren deLisa Coleman, a digi-cultural trend analyst, sees the app arena growing, especially with startups who say they have the next big app that can capture the younger audiences.
“Facebook is quite savvy,” she said. “The reason why WhatsApp was acquired was because Facebook has bought into the idea that the younger generation has been moving away from Facebook and toward more apps.”
As for the future, there’s no crystal clear ball that says exactly what is going to happen, but here are three big trends that mobile futurists say might come into play:
1. More personal private sharing: Examples of this trend can be seen in apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, which allow for an intimate setting. Emergence of more encryption based apps may become popular.
2. More anonymity: People under 25 are using tools such as Twitter and Tumblr, “to liberate themselves from the dark tendencies and the constraints of their reality,” Zandt said.
3. Customization: People are turning more inwards and looking towards self-identifying with their apps and look to measuring what defines them. From fitness trackers to what they ate last night, people are craving their personal stats.