Social media market will continue to see new technologies emerge, including demand for greater functionality and security

LAKE FOREST, Calif., Dec. 16, 2013 — As the popularity of social media continues to grow, backed by successful IPOs from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, Patrick Clinger, whose company, ProBoards, recently surveyed this evolving landscape, today made six predictions about what's likely to happen in the social media market for 2014.

  • Recent public focus on governmental monitoring and abuses of user trust will spur the market to adopt increased security measures for user data and privacy.
  • Market innovations will come from new, unexpected directions and companies, as the millennial generation increasingly rejects platforms they view as "uncool." Services like Snapchat and WhatsApp will come to replace older services that are "used by my parents."
  • Niche and special-interest groups will remain focused around forum communities as a way to conduct more in-depth discussions than the typical social media outlets.
  • Older services such as MySpace and Facebook will attempt to retain the interest of younger users by appealing to narrower audiences, such as music or social gaming fans.
  • Companies will increasingly come to rely on the advantages of a forum-based, crowd-sourced solution as a resource for both customer support and marketing.
  • The continuing trend towards mobile devices for everyday content consumption will move faster, putting an even greater emphasis on designing social media experiences for hand-held devices.

"It's hard to see how 2014 can top 2013 in terms of sheer seismic activity in the social media industry," said Clinger. "But there are bound to be new platforms and technologies emerging as well as continued industry consolidation."

ProBoards recently announced the results of its 2013 Social Media Survey. The survey was designed to ascertain the relative usage of popular social media platforms for various types of online communication. The results showed that 67 percent of respondents preferred online forums for conducting meaningful discussion. Further questions showed that Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and blogs were also somewhat useful, with LinkedIn failing to gain any traction among the crowded field.

About ProBoards

Founded in 2000, ProBoards ( is the largest provider of free forum hosting on the Internet. With millions of members, ProBoards is the preferred service provider for forum enthusiasts across the globe. At the core of this achievement is ProBoards' award-winning forum software, exceptional customer support, and dedication to continuous improvement.

For more information on ProBoards, go to