Facebook is riddled with a fake news epidemic, the US presidential election played out on Twitter, with 35% of 18-29 year olds saying social media was their most helpful source of information during the election. Instagram is the hub for all celebrity scandals and Snapchat is the fastest growing platform of them all.
I think the biggest expectation in 2017 will be perishable content. Whether this is temporary pictures (i.e Snaps) or who will make the first jump into live video. Facebook just recently strengthened their live video offering with their Live App Button. Whilst live video technically won’t be perishable as it’ll be available on playback, due to the nature and growing unpredictability of news, there is something more exciting about catching a live broadcast, because content becomes more reactive.
There also the case of Twitter’s growing harassment problem – which many high profile figures have highlighted as an issue with some choosing to avoid the platform.
Twitter has made tweaks previously with improved character limits and a smoother quote tweet process but the jury is still out on whether the platform is here to stay. I think Twitter Moments has the opportunity to become more of a respected news resource. Basically acting as a more engaging version of a traditional thread, this looks slick on mobile through the use of imagery and video.
News is evolving faster than ever and Moments could be just what people want. No fuss or complications, it’s hard news that is direct to your phone. Its simple, primed and ready to be adapted for anything, from news round ups to major events as they happen. Twitter is pushing this already but needs major influencers to take this on if it’s ever going to get anywhere.
After all, there is a definite correlation between age, demographic and interests when it comes to social network preference. Perhaps for a more simplified explanation see the below tweet.
Twitter is home.
Facebook is grandma’s house.
Snapchat is your best friend’s house.
Tumblr is the lunch room.
Instagram is 24/7 prom.
— deray mckesson (@deray) March 21, 2016
I guess that makes LinkedIn the job centre.
LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft, with the two firms announcing the merger in June. 2017 looks promising for LinkedIn with possible integration of key Microsoft offerings, including Word and PowerPoint. This would likely mean an abandonment of LinkedIn’s native content creation platform, but better usability for those who are ready for the update. This should prove to be a smart acquisition from Microsoft.
It will grow the profile of their already market leading offerings, but they will also be able to improve some already existing features and extensions. It wouldn’t surprise me to see LinkedIn focus on collaboration within the workplace with a with their own cloud-based collaboration tool integrated with Microsoft Office. Not to mention the mountains of data they will have access to.
Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media networks – the reason being it’s not trying to imitate any of it’s competitors.
It continues to draw users in with its interactivity and focus on usability. It does face obvious problems with privacy issues, but despite this I expect Snapchat’s growth to continue. For marketers, paid campaigns within Snapchat are a relative unknown. Large brands and events obviously have the resources for things like their own filters and sponsored content, so could this perhaps be tried on a more local scale in order to attract more businesses to use the platform as a way of connecting with consumers?
In 2016 Snapchat released their infamous Spectacles that created a media storm. $130 pairs of glasses with a camera inside, which takes snaps of the world without ever removing them from your face, descended like magic from strange pop-up vending machines. The PR generated from this alone has positioned Snapchat at the forefront of consumers minds and positioned the social network to be as innovative as ever.
These opportunities do beg the question as to whether introducing paid content/more advertising opportunities within Snapchat will spoil the aforementioned focus on interactivity and usability. Millennials particularly are aware of advertising and can jump ship from social media networks when they become advertising hell.
Content for Social
In terms of content, to put it simply – everything will be more insular. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that social media fuels widespread polarization and partisan animosity. Before people were happy to share, but due to this growing ‘partisan animosity’ I think people are looking for something which focuses on the 1:1 relationships, or perhaps smaller secular groups.
The focus has shifted from posting to an audience (think of your status on Facebook) back to instant messaging with a focus on live media (Snapchat). People are getting more niche but want more control over who sees what they post.
Finally, some snappy stats to remind you how odd 2016 was. The most watched Facebook live video was a mum in a Chewbacca mask and the most retweeted tweet of the year was by a YouTuber tweeting about lemonade…
— elrubius (@Rubiu5) August 20, 2016
Really, nobody knows what could happen in 2017. Maybe the resurrection of some older social media networks or we will just end up in a Black Mirror world where the entire human race rates each other out of 5*. Whatever happens, we’ll be able to see what we tweeted about for years to come and watch back our reactions on Facebook… But, if you don’t want reminding we suggest you stick to Snapchat.
Author: James Murphy
James joined AB as our Digital Marketing Intern... and we just couldn't let him go. Fresh out of University and hungry to learn, over his three month internship he worked across a range of accounts, advising clients on their social media strategy, as well as improving our own Digital Marketing output. James is an avid Torquay United fan... for his sins and loves spicy food.