While we have seen Twitter gradually embraced by most companies over the past five years, newcomer Pinterest didn’t even exist that long ago and now we are basing strategies on it.

With our shift in attitude toward the effectiveness and importance of social media to marketers and comsumers alike, we are ever looking to the future of these platforms.

With Twitter’s release of Vine (and the resurgence of animated gifs everywhere) and their flipflop in openness with their APIs, it’s important to stay one step ahead of the game.

In the last of our trends series to kick off 2013, we finished with two of our reader’s favourite topics: Twitter and Pinterest. Afterall, who doesn’t like social media? So what is up with Twitter in the next 12 months? Here are a few thoughts:

Richard Pasewark, CEO of Visible Technologies

Currently, social analytics companies have the ability to track and analyze all tweets on Twitter. In 2013, Twitter will turn off the fire hose and start to restrict third party access to their data, reserving access to companies who are willing to pay to understand the short term sentiments expressed by their target audiences.

Julia Rieger, Director of Marketing, Liveintent

Twitter will continue to drive more traffic via email alerts and follower suggestions as it works to plug leaks created by the popularity of competing products like Instagram.  Email provides Twitter with the perfect means for mobile monetization in a market where most of its users access it via a smartphone.

Shiraz Datta, Lead – Marketing CRM and Business Intelligence at Nokia

Twitter will be making strides in monetization through evolving their ad model for individuals too. Further, it may evolve their intelligence capability to offer ad based on conversations thread(s).   

Kunur Patel, brand strategist, Percolate

Twitter will spend 2013 evolving into a more visual platform. Facebook’s Instagram shut Twitter out from displaying its wildly popular photos and, with rumors circulating that Twitter will soon launch its own photo filters, the social network is not standing by. 

Until now, Twitter has largely relied on short text messages and links, but must make moves to catch up with the increasingly visual social web. Thankfully, Twitter has major broadcast partnerships in its favor to compete with Facebook and Instagram and get the word out to the photo-loving masses.

Toby Daniels, CEO, Crowdcentric 

Twitter will continue to exert tight controls over the ecosystem, but revenues will increase dramatically as they roll out more mobile ad products.  User experience will continue to evolve with major UX changes coming in 2013. Look out for a potential IPO, although I suspect it might be too soon.

Sean W. Bohan, Co-Founder, Decahedralist Strategic Consulting

Twitter will create tiered, paid access to the Twitter APIs – effectively turning their free services into revenue generators. Will begin to incorporate a video layer, a la Seesmic, into their native apps.

Gustav von Sydow, CEO and co-founder, Burt

Twitter will continue pushing their “native ad” offering, which might actually work, that is if they still have the user engagement left after morphing itself back from being a communications network to a micro blog service.

And here are a few ponderings on Pinterest in the upcoming year:

Matthew Standish, CEO of IDInteract

As Pinterest’s user-base continues to grow at a rapid pace, it is creating a vast new opportunity for brands to connect with their customers and to expand their customer base.  

In 2013, brands will need to “Pin it to win it” – collecting and leveraging data from Pinterst in order to better target consumers by identifying their interests and wants and connecting with them via this social channel.”

Kunur Patel, brand strategist, Percolate

After winning consumers en masse to its virtual pinboards and closing the year with pages specifically for brands, Pinterest will start to monetize its pin-addicted audience in 2013. 

Given its huge female audience and relevance for retailers and shelter and lifestyle magazines, products on deck include affiliate fees that collect on purchases driven through the platform. To keep adoption high and advertisers happy, Pinterest will also be forced to open up their API for better analytics and closer integration with the entire social fabric of the web.

Sean W. Bohan, Co-Founder, Decahedralist Strategic Consulting

As their userbase grows, Pinterest will create an ad network around their currently existing Intention Engine so brands can push Direct advertising to users who Pin products and user who like the Pins.

Gustav von Sydow, CEO and co-founder, Burt

Pinterest will continue to attract an interesting user base and provide a great context for delivering more emotional content than in other social media platforms.

Joshua March, CEO Conversocial

Pinterest’s new tools for businesses could make this platform a very powerful channel for retailers to share new products. If Pinterest moves in the direction of the social platform giants, with commenting and discussions, it could also adopt the role as a major point of interaction between companies and consumers, and potentially become an important customer engagement channel. 

Jess Seilheimer POV, SVP Digital Strategy & Planning, Havas Life NYC

With all the talk about an early IPO I think Pinterest has to first solidify/establish baseline their user base activity and engagement and a formidable link to ecommerce revenue vs. the current correlation marketers are making.