So how's the year going to be? Are we finally going to be overthrown by robots? Will aliens finally visit us? Will fake news ruin more political careers? Since it's just the start of a new year all we can do now is grab a bucket of popcorn and imagine it all.
The annual report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has drafted the key trends which are expected to dominate this year. Penned by researcher Nic Newman, this report tries to cite the dominating trends in media, journalism, and technology for the year.
The survey pinpointed 'Fake news' to be a major area of concern. "Fake news threatens to undermine democracy all around the world. Faced with this threat, news publishers can't afford to retreat behind pay walls: we need to be out there, in people's newsfeeds, challenging the lies at scale, treating disinformation on social media platforms as an urgent frontline beat".
Key trends as summarized in the report are as follows:
1. There will be a raft of initiatives over 'fake news' from both publishers and platforms which have failed to restore public trust. Fact-checking services will take a centre stage.
2. There will be further job cuts and losses across the news industry. More papers in the US and Europe go out of business, slim down or become online-only.
3. There will be more focus on algorithmic accountability, the use of data for targeting and the power of technology companies.
4. We will get to witness a backlash from publishers over Facebook Live as initial investments prove hard to sustain and monetise.
5. Publishers will force more people to sign-in/register for websites and apps and there will be heavy investment in data in order to deliver a more personalised content and messaging. One can also expect widespread innovation with messaging apps, chat bots and the art of 'conversational journalism'.
6. More of us will be talking to computers via voice driven personal assistants, like Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Google's Assistant.
7. A significant year for audio/podcasts as Facebook rolls out social and live audio formats.
8. An explosion of mobile alerts for news will occur, as publishers will try to push more content.
9. More experimentation with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
10. Cyber-wars to intensify with battles between governments and citizens over the limits of personal surveillance.
11. More politicians to pursue the footsteps of Donald Trump and use social media to define issues, break new policy and as a substitute for traditional media access.
So let's brace up for a brand new year and wonderful new possibilities with loads of possibilities and a pinch of salt.
Read the full survey here.