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Transcript: What the future holds for social media

What the future holds for social media

Justin Sullivan/2011 Getty Images

Karl Moore: This is Karl Moore of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, Talking Management for The Globe and Mail. Today I am delighted to speak to Brian Fetherstonhaugh who is the chairman CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide which is the online medium, new media part, of Ogilvy & Mathers, one of the great advertising firm in the world.

Brian, good afternoon.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: Good afternoon.

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KM: Brian, we have had a few years now of social media, and we are gaining a bit of experience, what do you see is the future? What is coming in social media?

BF: You know, it's moving unbelievably fast and it's hard to predict. The top 30 people in our company just recently spent a week in Silicon Valley, and back to back we visited Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple and each of them has different angles on where the world is going.

I think a couple of things are emerging, one is the linkage between search, mobile and social media. Search is becoming much more visual, you can literally hold your Android phone up to almost every image in the world and you can link in to the Google database. So we aren't just getting text responses but we are also getting visual input.

The other thing that is definitely happening is how, with voice recognition, we are moving away from keyboards. There was an interesting demo, again from Google, which was a universal translator done on a mobile phone. So if you are Finnish and I am Hungarian, we can have a conversation. So I speak Hungarian into the phone, the phone translates it into Finnish, you answer in Finnish and it translates it back to me in Hungarian – this is pretty cool and that is just around the corner. It is in pretty active beta testing right now.

When you look at the social space, YouTube has just exploded once again just from a nifty little way for college students to share video content to massive selling power and of really high interest to marketers. It is going increasingly global as some of the biggest YouTube users are global.

Twitter is the most hard to predict: it has grown to over 200 million users in a very short period of time. It is becoming very active in cultural phenomena as mundane as Charlie Sheen to more cosmic, cultural events, politics, elections, revolutions; it's a very interesting and very behavioral influence, not yet a powerful commercial model but they are definitely trying. So I think we will see Twitter experimenting more with how to work with brands.

Facebook is a juggernaut so far and increasingly getting into commerce and selling things through Facebook. Apple will continue to build phenomenal, beautiful, desirable products and they will reach almost 100 billion dollars this year and they only have 15 products, but are they ever great. Google has search, visual search, YouTube and Android which is making tremendous inroads on the mobile phone side.

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KM: This has been Karl Moore of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, Talking Management for the Globe and Mail.

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