Written by Emma Vetriano • Published 2nd March 2012 • 2 minute read

For a recent client presentation, I compiled a list of the top 5 trends that I expect to see making waves in the digital world in 2012. It’s obviously difficult to predict what will happen in two weeks from now (although Appy have a rather exciting press conference lined up) let alone ten months, but thinking about the way the market is moving proved to be a helpful exercise. The great thing about working in digital is that it is an industry full of creative people who like to disrupt our expectations and throw curve balls into the mix at every opportunity, but that aside, here are my predicted digital trends for 2012:

1. SmartTV

It’s predicted that 60% of the televisions sold this year will be SmartTVs and I anticipate that they will feature very high on the ‘most wanted’ list for Christmas 2012. We’re still waiting for a real game changer in this market – Samsung lead the way currently but there is plenty of room for innovation and improvement and many people are speculating that Apple could be preparing to work their magic on the industry.

2. Appy 2012

The growth in tablet computing is showing no signs of slowing down and it was recently revealed that 60% of the internet time on a tablet computer was accessed through apps rather than through an internet browser. The role of apps in our online and computing life is only going to increase in 2012 and beyond.

3. A breakthrough location based networking app

Several companies have attempted to have a go at a location based app, and there’s no denying the impact of FourSquare, but to me, this field is still waiting for a game-changer that blows everything else out of the water and keeps users coming back. If it’s really good it could really change the way we think about social networking.

4. Content aggregation

These days, the announcement of a new social network draws a chorus of groans from weary internet surfers who are tired of logging in to and maintaining several different social profiles. We don’t need another Twitter or Facebook (although I must confess I’m a new found addict of Pinterest), we need an aggregation tool that brings everything together and simplifies our lives again. Flipboard have done an admirable job and I love browsing my latest news through the tool, but again, I think there’s huge potential for another game changing tool to rock the market.

5. Personal browsing and integration of social

Social networks are no longer seen as isolated corners of the internet. The web is going social all over and that means that consumers now expect rich community experiences from almost every site they visit. Comment boards are essential, ability to network with other readers is advised. The internet is not a flat, one dimensional forum but a place where we expect to be treated as equals and given a platform to interact. The growth of sites such as Dressipi, a fashion retail site which learns your style preferences and makes recommendations to you proves just how much more personalised our online experience is likely to become.

What are your predictions for digital trends in 2012?