by Brooke Jordan, UFSocial Contributor
According to INC, “A lot of changes in social media in 2016 won’t be revolutionary – they’ll be a continuation and acceleration of what we’ve seen already.” It continues by saying, “Of course, any revolutionary change will be so different that to even try to guess at what it will look like is near-impossible.”
Social media is ever-changing and hard to predict. But as technology continues to advance in more ways than one, we can begin to shape in our minds what the future of social media could look like.
Virtual reality is one of these technological advancements.
According to Likeable, the first virtual reality head mount display was created in 1968. In March 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social network acquired Oculus VR, and one year later, YouTube introduced the first 360-degree virtual reality stream at the music festival Coachella.
So what does the social virtual reality future hold? As Zuckerberg suggests, “By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
Social media sites, like Facebook, will take on a 3-d form. Instead of Facebook messenger, your avatar can actually “sit down” with a friend who is online to have a conversation in a 3-d chatroom.
Also, your Facebook page can become a neighborhood, and your friends are your neighbors. As you walk by each “house”, you can click and see what’s happening inside — a.k.a. visiting a friend’s page. Virtual stores around the neighborhood will serve as advertisements and 3-d online shopping experiences that link to brand or company’s website.
Work and School
Gone are the days of waking up for 8 a.m. classes or business meetings. You can now participate from the comfort of your own dorm, home, or bed.
Teachers and leaders can set up virtual classrooms or conference rooms, and participants must log in via their avatars. Material can be uploaded and presented, and of course, with the microphone feature on a computer or phone, each person uses their own voice to communicate.
If a student is sick or forced to miss class, they can log in to the virtual classroom and not miss any work.
News organizations can now bring viewers directly to a crime scene. Via virtual reality, reporters and anchors can literally rebuild a crime scene and directly point out key findings to the viewers.
The 360-degree feature also provides viewers with views of the surrounding area of a crime scene so they can accurately depict and “feel” its location.
Move over Xbox. Now, video gamers will no longer need a bulky console and controllers. With the click of a button, players can log in via their virtual reality and play video games against their friends, others, or just themselves. This gives the games more definition and dimension, and players will now actually feel as if they are in the game. These games will include everything from the already-online Candy Crush to console-based games like Call of Duty, Madden, and Mario Kart.
We’ve already seen steps towards this advancement with some doctors or medical professionals offering Facetime-esque appointments. But social media virtual reality will take it one step further.
Users will now be able to meet with financial advisors, health consultations, other “life business” meetings, and even the bank online. Via the avatar, a person can “walk in” to the building and conduct these transactions over social media without having to waste time and gas driving from one place to another. This goes back to the base Facebook “neighborhood” I mentioned in my first point. The avatar will move across town, not you.
According to Likeable, “Through our social media accounts, we already present a distilled version of our true identities to the outside world…It’s difficult to have a meaningful social interaction online without being able to read someone’s body language.”
With the combination of social media and virtual reality, social interactions will become more intimate, and as technology advances, “you’ll be able to have a naturalistic face-to-face interaction that feels like the real deal.”
The biggest concern of virtual reality, however, will be isolation. People will be able to do almost anything on social media without having to leave their homes and interact with others. And that could totally change the function of society forever.
But, “the groundwork has been laid for immersive experiences, and by combining with social media, virtual reality will allow you to share these experiences with your best friends in real time.” The premise for this exciting yet scary new sense of reality is right around the corner.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Body Images Photo Credit: Flickr
Conclusion Photo Credit: Likeable Media