We are all aware how quickly things change in the social media arena.
Here are some trends for this coming year:
1 INSTAGRAM STORIES
Undoubtedly Instagram has grown significantly and within that ,Instagram Stories is really growing.
Daily viewers of Instagram Stories surpassed daily SnapChat viewers just one year after launch, and the growth isn’t stopping.
Instagram Stories was the biggest single change in the Instagram space, and its marketing implications are huge.
A huge deal with Instagram Stories is this: accounts with over 10,000 followers can now add a link within the feature. Considering the fact that the only other place you can put a link on Instagram is just the one buried on your profile page, this is a huge deal, as it multiplies buying or inquiry opportunities by orders of magnitude.
Instagram Stories in particular will be relevant from a marketing perspective because, compared to other transitory video platforms, Instagram metrics are eminently trackable.
2 LIVE STREAMING
There is likely to be a lot more live streaming this year, and the people who do it well will be fully with the times and accelerating. Its prevalence will increase because it works.
Live streaming is a medium of social technology that’s uniquely positioned to take advantage of hardware improvements for the next several years. The resolution of an image the size of a phone screen can only get so good before you have to zoom in to see a difference.
Twitter has fallen behind the other major platforms.
It needs to make some major changes as it’s growth is the slowest of all the major social media platforms.
4 ONLINE HANG OUTS
Facebook is at the centre with Facebook Spaces, but there are other technologies.
As in all such markets, some of these will succeed while others fall by the wayside.
5 MESSAGING APPS WILL BECOME CRITICAL
The major players are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
This is no longer a small market as messaging apps are used by over 4 billion users worldwide.
6 AUGMENTED REALITY
It is believed that this will be the year for AR.
A few years ago, Google came out with a pair of glasses—Google Glass—that promised to bring augmented reality (AR) to the mainstream and change how we live and interact with each other. Unfortunately, it was not successful.
However, a number of companies including Facebook, Google and Snap are entering the arena.
After a handful of highly successful AR apps, rising sales of VR headsets, and greater technological sophistication (including faster internet speeds and better visual rendering), 2018 could finally be the year that AR takes off.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
In the social media arena there are a number of established suppliers like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Then there are newer players like Instagram and SnapChat.
It is difficult to predict the winners and losers, but part of the success will depend on the suppliers’ abilities to adjust to current trends, as well as how they adapt to future trends.
It will be interesting to see who has won and who has lost at the end of 2018.