At Mashable Summit, Prognostications on the Future of Social Media

At the Mashable Media Summit in New York City, technology executives meshed with the media and debated the future of their industries. Suffice it to say, social media was a core function of many of the keynotes and panels.

Pete Cashmore, the founder and CEO of Mashable, predicted that over the next year “frictionless sharing,” as pushed by Facebook at its F8 conference this year, will become a focal point.

“You used to have to hit a like button to share something on the web or with a twitter button or share button,” Cashmore said, noting that now stoties you read on some sites can automatically appear in your Facebook profile. “Here is the problem, everything you read is getting shared. As media companies you have to consider whether you want to have that association with your brand.”

Cashmore shared a brief story about seeing that a colleague was checking out a slideshow of bikini pictures on the Huffington Post.

In an other discussion, Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s journalism liaison, explained what the leading social network has in store.

Lavrusik said that Timeline, Facebook’s upcoming profile page reboot, has been delayed. “If I knew [when it would be released to the public], I would tell you, but it has gotten pushed back because it just isn’t ready yet,” he said. Once it launches however, he says it will make it easier for journalists and organizations to reference things they wrote or produced months earlier, an archive of sorts.

Lavrusik also touted the company’s new “subscribe” feature, as well as the real-time “ticker” on the right side of the page as tools that will become very handy for journalists and media companies over the next year or so.

“I think this is a great thing for media companies because it puts a lot more emphasis on breaking news content,“ Lavrusik said of the ticker. As for subscriptions: “We were really intentional with the verb, we wanted it to be specifically for content. We realized that a lot of people wanted to use their profiles to communicate in a very professional way.”