Online Dating Is Pivoting to Video, and 5 Other Tech Stories to Watch in 2018
As part of our look forward at the year ahead in business, the Fortune staff polled the experts and pooled our collective knowledge to bring you these six predictions about 2018:
Facebook finally admits it’s a media company.
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a tech company. Right? Facebook insists it’s not a media company, despite evidence proving otherwise: fake news frustrations, editors as employees, $27 billion in annual advertising revenue. Next year, look for it to drop its resistance to the moniker.
The iPhone X breaks records
For the first time in several years, this November a new iPhone brought legions of Apple fans lining up outside the company’s stores. Stock of the new $999 iPhone X, the first with an OLED, edge-to-edge display, sold out within hours, surveys by KeyBanc analysts found. Many quickly ended up being resold on eBay where some phones sold for more than $8,000. As 2018 sales roll on, the all-new design will help create Apple’s biggest hit since the iPhone 6 and help the company finally surpass the 231.5 million phones it sold in 2015.
Online dating is about to pivot to video
The entire media industry is “pivoting to video” and dating apps are no different. In 2017, Hinge began allowing users to upload 30-second films, Bumble launched a video-chat feature called BumbleVID, and even good old Match.com is adding a new “Story” feature, enabling romance-seekers to create minute-long, live-action compilations. While jokes about returning to the old VHS “dating tapes” of the yore are sure to be plentiful, Millennials have already been primed by Instagram and Snapchat to share their lives with strangers and in 2018 will embrace the features as their new normal.
The sheer number of health apps will cause you trauma
There’s a health app for just about everything these days. Keeping diabetes patients’ disease under control? Check. Providing digital, chat box alternatives to human therapists? Check. Creating online communities to support people with rare diseases? Check, check, and check. Global mobile health venture funding reached a record $1.3 billion in 2016, according to Mercom. The field is expected to continue its boom going forward (the total global market could exceed $100 billion by 2022), especially as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves to make it easier for mHealth apps to reach the market.
Travis Kalanick resurfaces
Americans love second acts. Travis Kalanick, the epitome for good and ill of the American entrepreneur, will get his this year. He’s still on the Uber board of directors, and IPO preparations will include Kalanick, a master fundraiser and spinner of the Uber narrative.
Bitcoin crashes! Bitcoin breaks records!
It’s been a banner year for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Everyone is wondering: Have I missed the boat? Is it too late to invest? Are we in a bubble? Does that even matter? Well, mark our words. A crash is coming. Expect the price of one Bitcoin to stumble from its record highs above $6,500 to around $5,000 next year. But don’t write the stuff off as fool’s gold just yet. Fortune predicts that, after a fleeting bust, the price will rebound above $20,000 by the end of 2018. We foresee institutional investors, like mutual funds and banks, getting in on the action too—despite what J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon would have you believe. (Disclaimer: We have no inside information. This is not investment advice. Etc. etc.)