The year is slowly coming to an end and it is time to look back at my 2010 predictions for the consumer internet space – overall, I would give myself a 3.5 out of 5:
Prediction #1: Facebook will lock down on its dominance of the social graph: Facebook Connect will become the standard for the social web with every major website implementing it. Other social networks like MySpace, Hi5, Friendster or our own Nexopia will have to differentiate even more radically and build their business around or on top of Facebook.
There is probably no question anymore that Facebook has won the social networking battle, even MySpace has now caved in. And Facebook’s dominance is about to become a reality in most countries around the world.
Prediction #2: 2010 will be the year of content companies: with AOL‘s new focus on content generation, DemandMedia‘s looming IPO and tons of innovation in this vertical, content companies will get more attention than ever before and come up with new models to produce high-quality content at scale. I am with you, Tim Armstrong.
Content was and is a hot vertical. We saw Yahoo’s acquisition of Associated Content, AOL’s acquisition of Techcrunch and 5Min and tons of discussion and speculation about DemandMedia’s IPO. And it feels like 2011 could become even more interesting for this vertical.
Prediction #3: We will see a leader in geo-location emerge: it might be Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook or Twitter but I am pretty certain that one of them will nail it and get to critical mass. My bet is on Facebook with outsider chances going to Twitter.
Giving myself only half a point on this one – Foursquare has clearly evolved as the check-in leader but the geo-location battle is still too early to declare victory for anybody. Surprised that Facebook Places has not taken off as much as everybody would have guessed given Facebook’s scale.
Prediction #4: The apparel vertical will see tons of investment activity with the private sales category getting close to bubble stage, new apparel brands being launched as web-only ventures (like Bonobos and Indochino have done) and new types of shopping concepts emerging.
Apparel is simply hot – private sales sites still killing it, tons of investment flowing into the space, lots of innovation happening. To be continued in 2011.
Prediction #5: 2010 will see the IPO and M&A markets come back in full force with a long list of top companies readying for public markets (Kayak, Bigfishgames, DemandMedia, Zynga, perhaps Facebook) and successful IPO’s kick-starting the M&A markets.
This one I got wrong – a few companies filed but no significant company went public. Let’s hope for 2011!
Looking back it feels like a really exciting year, can 2011 top 2010?