Alright, so trying to predict the digital future can be a bit… risky. For every Zuckerberg-esque stroke of foresight, there have been far more embarrassing missteps, say, an insane 1995 Newsweek editorial explaining why the internet could never last as an information source, or a long-removed-from-the-web SNL sketch I remember from my childhood, mocking texting as a clunky, illogical medium. It’s definitely a gamble.
But if anyone’s equipped to do it, it’s probably the award-winning minds at HUGE, the digital advertising juggernaut behind OKCupid’s much-discussed new blind dating app, HBO GO, and countless other campaigns that have quietly become part of daily life. The company has not only survived more than a decade’s worth of relentless digital shakeups, they’ve thrived, taking on numerous foreign offices, hundreds more employees, an endless string of high-profile clients. And after all, it’s their job not just to think about the answers to inevitable questions about our future with the web, but to think of the right ones.
As such, we went to their offices to meet with a roundtable of in-house experts (Communications Director Sam Weston, Director of Search Andrew Delamarter, Senior Analyst Hannah Poferl, and Principal Developer Jose Muanis), and asked them to look into their respective crystal balls — that is how this stuff works, isn’t it? — on what, exactly, may lie ahead in the next decade for the “open web” as we know it. Anything could happen, it seems, but a few things are more clear than others.