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The Future of Games, Apps & Social Media, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Several important trends will greatly affect these sectors over the long-term.
1)    Search:  While Google remains the dominant search engine, competition for search use is very high.  The ability to search the internet (or search specific platforms), keeps users on-site or on-app longer and adds value to the site itself.  Search capabilities are being embedded in apps and to some extent in social media.  (Even ecommerce sites are involved— is one of the largest competitors for consumer search activity for the various products and entertainment services offered on Amazon.)
2)    Alexa and Similar Digital Assistants (“Smart Speakers”:  Extremely rapid growth in the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa and similar digital assistant technologies means that more and more consumers will be utilizing voice commands to Alexa, Siri or similarly-equipped devices to post to social media, start up apps and take other routine actions.
3)    Privacy and Security:  The entire world scrutinized Facebook’s privacy policies when the firm’s CEO was called before U.S. government institutions to testify.  This was also the year that the EU launched a daunting set of privacy regulations known as GDPR.  Other nations are following in the EU’s footsteps in this regard.  This means that social media and software platforms can no longer take consumers for granted in terms of permission to use and share personal data.
4)    Security for Apps:  Mobile apps present a security problem of their own, as they have been known to be used as a way to infect mobile devices with malware and viruses—particularly if the app is downloaded outside of such platforms as the Apple Store or Google Apps.  This problem will accelerate over the mid-term.
5)    Faster Wireless:  The coming implementation of extremely fast wireless access, known as 5G, will enable games, apps and social media sites to provide much richer, more interactive features that will load and operate at blazing speed.
6)    Electronic Games as Recognized Sports:  Electronic games are evolving into media stars.  Top players can now compete in leagues, in televised media and in live, auditorium events.  The potential of eSports as an advertising and PR vehicle will quickly be adopted by the advertising industry.  On a slightly lower level, groups of universities and even high schools will have electronic games teams that compete against each other.  The fact that massive, global generations of digital natives now exist, people who began playing electronic games at a very early age and have been engaged in them for decades, will fuel this trend.  The potential is massive, and the growth will be stunning.
7)    Artificial Intelligence:  AI will play a rapidly growing role in enhancing the usefulness of social media and the options and features available in games.  AI will boost the effectiveness of both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in game applications.
8)    Personal Computers (PCs):  PC operating systems and user interfaces will become more reliant on apps, changing the PC to a more smartphone-like experience.

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