SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (TheStreet) -- With the proliferation of single purpose social apps for singular desires, less really was the new more in 2014. The trend is sure to continue into the new year with 2015 building on the breakup of the bloated network to spawn a more decentralized social universe.
In other words: The social network is dead! Long live the social app!
Options aren't a bad thing. eMarketer estimates that the number of social users worldwide will grow by 12.5% and reach 1.8 billion in 2014, which equates to 63% of all Internet users and 25% of the global population.
In 2015, social users will have the power. They will chose to do more of their social networking behind closed doors, watch and share more video, continue to take up mobile messaging apps, including new ones that sub selfies and live video for text communication, and find that their favorite apps will come with inventive tools for both silliness and seriousness.
Facebook (FB) , the archetype of the all-in-one network, may not yet need to fear consumers' growing preferences for singular experiences, but it's certainly taking intensive efforts to stay relevant by splitting up the parts from the whole and unleashing a host of single-purpose apps. The company will also likely expand on its anonymous login initiatives and spend 2015 trying to settle the concerns of the privacy-conscious consumer with new experiences for taking more control over their data. Facebook, along with the other ad-based social players like Twitter (TWTR) , will need to make tradeoffs between catering to consumer privacy and courting advertisers who want more data for targeting, which could complicate their businesses.
Looking at the broader social universe, though, 2015 will shed light on the significance of dark social, usher in an era of in-stream commerce, and turn video into a more expressive and natural form of communication. Here's more on what to expect in the year to come.