Listening to music online has been getting progressively easier over the past few years and Spotify has taken the experience to the next step. You get a six month free trial period that includes radio style advertisements or you can pay a simple flat rate fee and you can listen to as much music as you want ad free. As permanent connections to the internet have become more and more pervasive this sort of service has become much more practical, especially with the explosive growth of smartphones. To me, Spotify represents the movement of data away from our personal devices and into the cloud. It is the mainstream of society finally taking advantage of some of the larger potential of the web.
You cant have the internet without pictures of cats apparently so I'd better add one of those to the list as well. Because not everything has to be useful, sometimes it's just cool.
Pinterest was launched a couple of years ago but it has really exploded over the last twelve months. A simple way for users to share pictures they've seen online it has become one of the fastest growing sites in history. People are sharing everything from travel dreams to favourite recipes.This is a great site to browse if you're looking for inspiration and it is a great way to organise images online. See something you like? Just pin it and you can come back and have a look again later. And because it always maintains a link back to the original source it has huge potential for selling online. Any image someone likes can be shared virally and it will always link back to the shop it was originally pinned from. If that isn't exciting for anyone selling online I don't know what is.
This has got to be up there as one of the biggest things to hit the web in 2012. The most popular video on YouTube of all time it is of course Psy's K-Pop sensation, Gangnam style. Where else but on the web would a Korean pop song have the chance to spread across the world. It is so easy to share anything and everything with friends online these days that even something as strange (and amazing) as Gangnam style can get to the point where is has been viewed nearly a BILLION times on YouTube. People of all ages will recognise that opening beat and Psy's dance moves are being used in clubs, at sports games and anywhere else this incredibly catchy song is being played.
Making this list has made me wonder about what the future has in store for us. What is being developed out there right now and what might the internet look like in a year's time. It's an exciting time to be online as social sharing makes it even easier for products and services to gain access to larger markets. It could be a cute picture of a kitten and a funny video that spreads like wildfire or it could be a new service offered online. You never know what's going to be next.