10 of the Most Current Trends on the Web

4 Sep 2015    11:54 am

10 of the Most Current Trends on the Web

As time moves forward, the state of the web continues to change and evolve right before our very eyes. Gone are the days when email chain letters and ICQ instant messagingwere the big web-defining trends that everyone knew and loved. 

Today, we're in the thick of the mobile era -- obsessed with never quite having enough apps to distract ourselves with, addicted to constant on-the-go Internet access, mesmerized by cool gadgets that can talk to our smartphones and hooked on our endless desires to consume more content.

Here are just 10 culture-defining trends on the Internet right now that we'll probably look back on in 10 years and think, "man... those were the simpler days!"

1.  The selfie movement.

The front-facing camera on our smartphones changed the way we take pictures, and social apps changed the way we share them. It's far too convenient to share selfies these days, which is why we've probably seen the trend grow into something we've all really learned to embrace. And it probably doesn't help that there are countless photo editing apps available that make it a breeze to enhance your selfie before you even share it.

2.  News breaking on Twitter first (before it breaks anywhere else).

If you want to get access to the latestnews as fast as possible, Twitter is your best option. This little micro-blogging social network changed the way we consume news and stay updated on what's happening in real-time. Of course, the problem with such quick breaking news is that there's no guarantee that everything that shows up in your Twitter stream is true and credible. Still -- there's no other platform quite like it for getting your news fix.

3.  Our strange obsession with animated GIFs.

The animated GIF is a magnificent cross between an image and a short video -- without the sound. Popular social networking platforms that thrive on image-based content Tumblr and Reddit have become go-to places for GIF sharing, or there'sGiphy -- the Interent's image search engine for GIFs. Google even recently introduced animage search filter for animated GIFs, so you know where to find something when youreally need to find a specific GIF, fast.

4.  Content curation provided by the convenience of hashtagging.

Although Twitter was the original social network to bring the hashtag to life, others have been quick to pick up on the trend. Hashtags can now be used on Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Facebook and more -- as a solution for effectively categorizing content based on specific themes or keywords to make search and discovery a whole lot easier. This huge trend isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

5.  Memes, memes and more memes.

The Internet is obsessed with sharing memes. Websites like BuzzFeed, Know Your Meme and I Can Haz Cheesburgerhave built online business empires out of memes, and every week, it seems like there's a new one to be following. The viral power of ridiculous memes likeYOLO or Doge is undeniable. We can't get enough of them, and there are tons ofmeme generator tools you can use to create your own and contribute to whatever memeis most popular at the moment.

6.  Internet personalities transforming into real celebrities.

It's obvious that social media has opened up new doors for people to showcase their talents and attract an online fanbase. For many now famous celebrities, starting out by putting their stuff online was really the only option. Today, all kinds of mainstream actors, musicians, bands, comedians and more owe their success to the openness of the web, including major entertainment-based social networks like MySpace and YouTube. Without them, they may have never been able to get their foot in the door in the first place.

7.  Cloud streaming all of our TV shows, movies and music.

Who needs CDs and DVDs anymore now that we can get unlimited access to all our entertainment needs through services likeSpotify or Netflix? There's no need to have a hard copy or digitally downloaded copy of everything when you can stream anything you want down from the cloudfor one small monthly subscription fee. Cloud streaming sure does solve the problem of limited local storage, and it's one of the fastest growing new trends in media consumption we're seeing today.

8.  Boredom with social networks that simply just 'connect' everyone.

The social web moves so fast, it's not easy to always be right on top of what current social networking site or app is the next big thing. If anything's for sure, it's that most of us have recognized how bloated the social networking experience has become with the availability of so many sites and apps out there promoting huge friend or follower numbers, constant engagement and never ending streams of content sharing. Oversharing has become a big turn off for some of us, which is why apps likePath and even Snapchat have popped up to bring a more intimate and minimalist experience to social networking.

9.  The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrecy clones.

Almost everyone has heard about Bitcoinby now -- the decentralized digital currency that started turning a lot of heads in 2013 as more people got involved with mining, trading and spending it. Bitcoin has had its fair share of problems given that it isn't overseen by any central authority, but that hasn't stopped its growing popularity. As a result, countless other cryptocurrency clones have popped up all over the web -- some of which seem almost too ridiculous to be real.

10.  WiFi-enabled 'smart' gadgets, devices and appliances.

It's not just your computer and your smartphone that are connected to the Internet these days. We're starting to see a lot more gadgets and household objects come with WiFi-enabled features. And someday, our entire homes and cities could thrive on a connected networkwhere every device, machine and thing can communicate with one another to perform and automate tasks. That's what we'll see if and when the Internet of Things becomes a part of mainstream reality.