5 Mobile Predictions from Facebook’s Jane Schachtel

By David Cohen Comment

JaneSchachtelFacebook global head of technology and mobile strategy Jane Schachtel shared her predictions on upcoming mobile trends at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Spain.

Facebook for Business posted Schachtel’s thoughts:

  1. More affordable smartphones: In high-growth countries, where many people are just coming onto mobile networks for the first time, devices are incredibly important. I expect to see a lot of innovation in the area of low-cost smartphones that offer better performance and better features for less money. This means more people getting connected to the people and services they care about. Some newer manufacturers are also creating phones geared toward certain demographics, like millennials, hoping they’ll become future long-term customers.
  2. Focus on mobile commerce: Lots of business is already happening through mobile, whether through peer-to-peer payment systems, messaging applications or solutions business owners hack together themselves. More technology and telecom businesses need to adapt their business models to mobile, and I expect to see new solutions from operators that make it easier for people to buy and sell things through their phones. Meanwhile, device manufacturers will explore new ways to reach people on the devices they create, including mobile buy flows (i.e., the way people can make purchases from their phones).
  3. Standing out from the pack: In more developed countries, device manufacturers are facing the problem of saturation: With so many devices looking the same and offering roughly the same features, it’s hard for any one product to stand out. This lack of differentiation can reduce long-term brand loyalty and lead to higher customer turnover. Marketing devices in more personal ways — focusing, for instance, on the emotional role they play in our lives rather than the latest technical specs — is one way of standing out. The more authentic and personally relevant the messages, the more they’ll resonate with customers and prospects. Another way of preventing turnover while also increasing customer lifetime value is to get people to purchase additional products from the brand. Known in the industry as “device families,” device manufacturers are now introducing gadgets like watches and selfie-cams to pair with phones and tablets, all in hopes of customers having a stronger brand affiliation.
  4. Increased focus on network capabilities: People are already consuming massive amounts of video content on their phones in places like the U.K., Australia, Japan and the U.S., and we expect this trend to extend further around the world. This means that networks must become even faster and more reliable. I expect to see lots about 5G networks, as well as ways of delivering video to more people on slower networks. This is a trend that brands need to pay attention to: it’s become essential to understand creative best practices for mobile experiences, and the changing ways in which people consume video.
  5. Making the Internet of Things matter (part two): Much like at the International Consumer Electronics Show, I plan to see and hear a lot about machine-to-machine (M2M) connections and the Internet of Things. With the Apple Watch launching soon, there will likely be a lot of second-generation smart watches from other manufacturers. With the Internet of Things, the big challenge remains showing people how connected devices can be meaningful additions to their lives, rather than just being cool pieces of tech.

Schachtel concluded:

It’s an exciting time in the mobile industry. As more people come online and new technologies become more widely available, we’ll continue to see more sophisticated solutions for connecting the world. And that’s good for people, and good for businesses.

Readers: What did you think of Schachtel’s predictions?

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