Predictions are part educated guess, part soothsayer.
At the risk of shooting my credibility in the foot, I’ve never been very good at predicting anything.
Exhibit A: I once predicted that none of us would be driving our own cars in 2017. We’re still a few years from seeing that one play out.
It’s coming. I promise.
When I looked into my social media crystal ball at the beginning of 2016, I saw what the tech prophets saw: a move toward more video.
But not just any video. Streaming video.
Voila, 2016 was the year of video. From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat, everyone was getting into the streaming game. It was really more conjecture than seeing the future. We were already knee-deep in streaming our own content thanks, in part, to services like Periscope and Meerkat.
So while the prediction was accurate, it was akin to predicting snow for northeast Ohio in January.
There’s so much more to come with live streaming video in 2017. For example, in late 2016, Twitter introduced a 360-degree streaming service via Periscope. The ability to stream in 360-degree video capture is only available to select partners, but the service has great potential.
360 video is a chance for Twitter to avoid another “fail whale” of a year. That’s my weak attempt at saying Twitter had a lousy 2016. We used the term fail whale during the early years of Twitter when users overpowered their servers.
While Twitter is diving head first into streaming live sports with the NFL and now golf, the real growth will almost certainly be in their streaming services for users like you and me.
With this new technology, we can get a full picture of the streamer’s view. So, if the streamer is on a mountain top (with a strong 4G signal), we would get a complete view of the landscape. The best part: the viewer controls the view by simply tilting their mobile device or moving a cursor to a different part of the view.
Want to see 360 video? Check out the first-ever 360 degree video with Alex Pettitt at @Alexpettitt and Brandee Anthony at @Brandee_Anthony. Search for their “360 Sunset in Florida.” Pettit and Anthony provide great 360 video recordings, including a few from Pettitt at last week’s CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.
For more 360 videos, check out @ClemsonFB’s departure from their practice facility, a few days before the FBS Championship game, @Toyota’s introduction of their new concept car at CES, or chef @altonbrown in his test kitchen.
To find these and other 360 videos, search #Periscope360 on Twitter.
What’s up next in streaming media content? Your guess is as good as mine.
You can bet somebody’s working on something big for 2017.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is associate professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about social media and technology, sports and fans.