The past year brought us some noteworthy stories relating to social media: the US president communicating official policy positions squeezed in 140 characters, Facebook persuaded Snapchat users to opt for Instagram, and Apple had laid out its plans to change the way we connect with our mobile devices.
2018 is expected to create a lot more disruption because some new advancements involving technology will go mainstream. Also, social standards related to social media will change.
Here are ten highly significant trends dictating how technological and social media evolution will unfold. Mind you; their presence will be known in 2018. Get ready for it!
Trend #1. Increasing hype of Instagram Stories
Over 200 million people are into using Instagram Stories each month, which beats Snapchat by 50 million. Imagine, Instagram Stories is just a year old! Based on this rate, nearly half of all those using Instagram will make use of its Stories by the end of 2018. This only means that taking an interest in interacting with Instagram users must master Instagram Stories.
Trend #2. Facebook Spaces to go mainstream
Live video streaming isn’t the end game for Facebook; they had been working on a project called Spaces designed to let friends connect in VR. It’s already given that Facebook owns Oculus — a virtual reality software and hardware company. It is then no surprise that a social media giant as Facebook is developing a platform to use this new technology.
Spaces are poised to scale in 2018. When Facebook does, it is more likely the first successful VR social media product at scale.
Trend #3. Continuous investment in influencer marketing
There is over 90 percent of marketers who use an influencer marketing strategy believe that it is successful. Companies such as Hubspot, North Face, and Rolex use these techniques to connect with new markets and improve relationships with existing markets.
The past year, brands that went for traditional advertising strategies had struggled to connect to social media users. So in 2018, it is probable that more brands will opt for influencer marketing to connect with audiences who ignore traditional strategies.
Trend #4. Live streaming to expand
Live streaming was once a different gimmick but it became a popular part of social media. Now, brands both big and small have started using live streaming to lure the attention of its followers.
GORUCK, an organizer of extreme endurance events and backpack manufacturer, is an excellent example of a medium-sized brand that had grown by live streaming compelling content on Facebook. Thousands of followers tuned in to watch the 48-hour coverage of an endurance race.
This year, more and more brands will start to realize the magic of live streaming and will include it in their monthly content plans.
Trend #5. The rise of augmented reality
The new iPhone 8 and iPhone X had shaken the world with its capacity to provide users with extraordinary augmented reality experiences. While augmented reality will begin its impact on mobile gaming, it is expected that social media platforms will look for ways to incorporate the said new technology as well.
Take this, for example, Instagram or Snapchat will soon support filters allowing users to take a selfie with a celebrity or a friend projected via augmented reality. In the same sense, brands can also soon expect their products into social media users’ homes through the use of special filters.
Trend #6. Focusing on Generation Z
According to a recent study by Goldman Sachs, Generation Z was more valuable to most groups than millennials. Today, the oldest Gen Zers are about to enter the labor force as they are 22 years old, and will have increased purchasing power for some time.
Brands will soon acknowledge this and will change their social media strategies accordingly. Expect a significant investment in platforms loved by Gen Zers such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Trend #7. Digital hangouts to be a thing
House party is a mainstream hangout platform used by more than a million people daily. It is used by Gen Zers as a way to hang out with friends virtually. This platform had been so successful that even Facebook is reportedly investigating ways to create the same thing as it is.
Trend #8. Social platforms embody stronger governance policies
After having a series of controversial events during the 2016 elections, social media platforms embraced a more scrutinized, hands-on approach to governing conduct on their platforms. Just like how Facebook recently declined over thousands of ads seemingly connected to Russian meddling and had made investments in new AI and human forms of monitoring.
Given the broad criticism that Twitter and Facebook received the past year, it is probable that these platforms will create codes of conduct and governance policies protecting brands from future criticism.
Trend #9. Growing brand participation in messaging platforms
More than 2.5 billion people engage in using messaging platforms internationally, yet brands are still on the idea of focusing on connecting with users on social networks. In the next year, expect brands to invest more money and time in interacting with consumers on messaging platforms.
Artificial intelligence, chatbots, and voice assistants will allow brands to provide personalized shopping experiences on these platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Kik.
Trend #10. Rethinking Twitter
Twitter had unfortunately failed to grow followers in 2017 significantly. In fact, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn gained more social media followers. That year, Twitter also lost to Amazon the rights to stream NFL games. In 2018, expect that Twitter leadership will rethink how its platform operates.
Possible changes to Twitter can include selling the company to private investors, adding some subscription element and revamping Twitter advertising options that had fallen behind other platforms.
Just like digital marketing and search engine marketing trends, new social media trends will make a significant impact on brands and users alike. Don’t let yourself fall behind the trends and stay connected with this update from Web Launch Local!