Declaring that, “the last decade of the Internet was all about information and the way in which it was organised,” Joanna Shields, VP EMA, Facebook, used Tuesday’s MIPCOM Keynote to look at what the next decade of content on the Net had in store, and, unsurprisingly, she believes, “it will be about social networking. Individuals, and not content will be at its heart.”

If that sounds a gloomy prediction for the content business, it shouldn’t. Facebook has 500 million users worldwide every month; 60 percent of whom, per Shields, visit the site every day, and they want to engage with content. In Europe, she revealed, 47 percent of 12 to 17 year olds watch TV while simultaneously using their laptop – usually to chat to fiends about the content they are watching, and, overall, 30 percent of Facebook users talk, on site, about the programme they are currently watching.

This not only makes sites such as Facebook an immensely powerful promotional tool, it also offers content producers a very valuable opportunity to interact with, and understand, their audience. 

But this opportunity also creates demands on content producers, ‘the days when you can expect and audience to just turn up, tune in and watch are over,” claimed Shields. “In the future you will have to develop the ability to reach out, create a buzz and develop brand equity.”