Social Media Day 2015: Anonymity is the future

Today is the sixth annual Social Media Day, an event first started by Mashable in 2010 to celebrate social media's impact on global communication.

Despite receiving some negative press regarding privacy and security, social media is most definitely here to stay. As of the first quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.44 billion monthly active users, Instagram had 300 million and Twitter 236 million.

But what's the future of social media? Kassem Younis, Founder and CEO of Thoughts Around Me, offers his analysis: “There is no doubt that social media has changed how people interact and sharing online is now a central part of our everyday lives just as much as talking in person is.

"However, with this rise in sharing online, many people are now concerned about their privacy and more and more users of social media are starting to take note of what information they are sharing since it is a lot more public than any real life interaction you would have.

"Social media mishaps have become commonplace and can end up costing someone much more than just their jobs. Users are becoming much more careful with what they post, which in turn is actually harming their ability to speak honestly and openly. In a world where there is so much for all of us to process that we judge on perception, having what you really think attached to your identity can really harm your own brand because of the missing context.

"This inhibition of speaking truthfully on social media has now had the effect of popularising anonymous platforms, such as Thoughts Around Me, Cathartic, and Startup Secrets, which encourage complete anonymity and allow for honest debate. Not only this, people are increasingly demanding to be engaged with their local communities and apps are catering for this using geolocation technology as an integral part of their social experience.

"Anonymity supported by geolocation is a trend which will only continue as it allows people to be totally honest, without fear, while also allowing them to speak out about experiences in their area and connect with their local communities- from protests to unacceptable behaviour in the workplace."