According to recent McKinsey research, 2021 was a 12 months of transformation: people, corporations and society began to look forward to influencing their futures fairly than simply surviving the current.

It was the 12 months that premature hopes for herd immunity, an end to pandemic lockdowns, and a return to normality were dashed – not less than for now. But apart from the Great Social Media Resignation, during which burnt-out Gen Z employees quit their jobs on TikTok and Instagram, the rise of non fungible tokens (NFTs), and the introduction of the metaverse, the world’s space-going billionaires were as wealthy and productive in business and technology as ever.

While it’s hard to make accurate predictions within the unpredictable environment we’ve been experiencing during the last two years, the 12 months ahead will bring many surprises. Here are six digital trends that can influence life in 2022.

1. Social media: more privacy, quality and algorithm tweaks

Platforms will focus on privacy and content quality in feeds. Despite recent public criticism, Facebook is prone to grow members in addition to revenues.

With an eye fixed on privacy and content quality, all major social media platforms will likely have updated their privacy policies and tweaked their algorithms by the tip of 2022. Due to the demand for strong, engaging content, a brand new tribe of creative influencers will grow rapidly and make a huge impact on branding and engagement.

Thanks to the growing popularity of short-form video content, Instagram and TikTok are prone to witness a rise in ad expenditure in 2022 and Instagram will proceed to grow beyond its 50% ad revenue share. Underutilised social media marketing components like customer support and relationship management will soon thrive on these platforms.

2. Enter the metaverse: from 2D to 3D web

Mark Zuckerberg announced a brand name change to “Meta” in October 2021, indicating Facebook’s want to shape the metaverse transformation. The term refers to the probabilities of virtual and augmented reality. Some call it a virtual shared space accessible through VR headsets, AR glasses or smartphone apps.

Users may interact, socialise, explore and create content within the virtual environment, and monetise their virtual transactions using blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The metaverse (or 3web) is intrinsically linked to NFTs and cryptocurrencies, which commercialise interactions by creating or selling digital artefacts. In 2022, 3web is anticipated to be an enormous business issue and is backed by major brands including Nike, Adidas, Gucci, Prada, Puma, Microsoft and others.

3. Acceleration of crypto & NFT growth

The use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) increased in 2021 and can proceed to in 2022. A brand new value exchange mechanism in the worldwide online economy, NFTs have modified the worth and performance of all digital assets and artworks.

From a short lived fad to a brand new economy, NFTs have created what the Harvard Business Review calls “digital deeds”. In the digital realm, NFTs are unique assets that may be bought and sold like every other. Tokenisation is the means of converting a major piece of information, reminiscent of an account number, right into a random string of characters often called a token that, if compromised, has no meaningful value. These digital tokens could also be used to purchase physical things reminiscent of real-life paintings, or virtual assets like digital art, in-app purchases and even virtual properties.

The Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre predicts a US$1.5 trillion (£1.1 trillion) market for tokenised assets in Europe over the following three years. Real estate, debt, bonds, shares, copyrights, real art, virtual art and collectibles are all examples of assets that could be tokenised.

This is undoubtedly an enormous step towards achieving one among cryptocurrency’s fundamental guarantees of economic inclusivity. Investing in alternative or traditional assets is usually beyond reach or too expensive. Crowdfunding and Fintech – financial technology used to deliver automated and improved financial services – will allow investors of all sizes to interact in a wide selection of assets.

4. AI growth in food and HR services

AI could well change the way in which we conceptualise, create and revel in food or search for a job. Michael Spranger, COO of Sony’s artificial intelligence team, explains that labour shortages have led many organisations to make use of AI to broaden the way in which they evaluate and assess job applicants. He also notes that a few of the most enjoyable applications of AI in gastronomy will enhance the imagination and creativity of chefs and culinary experts beyond what is feasible today. And robots like Flippy are already flipping burgers at McDonalds and other restaurants.

5. Increased connectivity = more digital transformation

5G and the brand new Wi-Fi 6 standard will enable faster connection – crucial if the world is to embrace these recent digital trends. Jerry Paradise, VP of product management for Chinese tech company Lenovo, has said 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are about greater than just speed: “Future applications will include smart cities, the web of things, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications – which might ideally improve traffic flow and safety.”

According to Lenovo, working from home will grow more “hybrid” as consumers and organisations proceed to think beyond the office. A big majority of IT executives expect to work outside the office in future, with smaller and smarter devices, in addition to cordless and noise-cancelling headphones. Hybrid employees may take part in video meetings and conduct phone calls not only from home, but anywhere.

6. New workplace, recent skills

With the workplace set to alter, skills might be next. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2022, recent occupations will account for 27% of massive corporate worker bases, while technologically outmoded positions will decline from 31% to 21%.

The shift within the division of labour between humans, computers and algorithms has the potential to remove 75 million current job openings while generating 133 million recent ones. Data analysts, software and application developers, e-commerce specialists and social media specialists might be in high demand.

Many “human” jobs, reminiscent of customer support, organisational development and innovation management, are expected to grow. So, removed from “taking our jobs”, AI will create jobs and ensure employment across an array of various fields.

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