Another year has passed and the social media landscape has been under fierce renovation. 2017 saw a 330 percent rise in live streaming and real-time content on Facebook and Instagram with the introduction of “stories”—a concept that Snapchat was the first ever to use. Video platform Vine was also officially shut down in January 2017, ending an era of silly six-second videos.
Each year brings new and exciting things to social media, so what do we have to expect for 2018? Here are four predictions being made about what we can expect to see in regards to social media in 2018:
- More Stories on Facebook and InstagramThe world first saw the concept of social media “stories”—selections of video, images and texts that can be viewed a for limited amount of time—when Snapchat was released in September 2011. Since then, Instagram and Facebook have both adopted the concept; they now allow their users to post “stories” on their platforms as well—Instagram in August 2016 and Facebook in March 2017. This is a big game changer for social media platforms: companies and businesses that are active on Facebook and Instagram can utilize this tool to give their customers and consumers real-time data, allowing businesses to be more personal with their followers.
- Reality Going VirtualWhile virtual reality (VR) has largely been limited to video games and theme park rides, VR is slowly making its way to social media. For example, we have already seen the introduction of three-dimensional filters on Snapchat that allow users to project themselves to other users as cartoon people doing normal tasks like working out, drinking coffee, etc. It won’t be long before we see versions of these concepts on Instagram and Facebook as well.
A big part of this increase is also due to the advance in technology. In 2017, Apple released the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, both of which incorporate a new chip that gives the iPhone the processing power to better handle virtual and augmented reality programs. This technology is only going to push social media platforms to want to take advantage of the extra processing power and up their game in the augmented reality world.
- Twitter’s Fading GloryTwitter has been on the decline for a while, and 2018 could be an important year for them. Millennials seem to be the only ones using Twitter nowadays, and even business-oriented platform LinkedIn has more users than Twitter now. With the constant introduction of new things on other platforms like stories and live streaming, Twitter seems to be falling behind on new features to attract its users to stay. The introduction of the 280-character tweet could be a bad thing as people begin to compare Twitter to Facebook as tweets get longer and longer and fewer people want to read them. Twitter may have to step up its game if it still wants to be considered a major social media platform.
- Interacting with AdsInteractive advertisements are just starting to pop up around the Internet now, and one could say that the rise in VR concepts could be connected to this. Interactive advertisements can be most commonly found on Hulu: if users want to see fewer commercials, they are given the option to “interact” with one of their advertisements for 30 seconds before returning to their program. Some of these advertisements are just simply clicking through a slideshow to see a business’s product or other similar presentations. Interactive advertisements are a great way to get users to acknowledge your business and get them involved in your product rather than having them read something and then scroll on.
We have much to look forward to in 2018. New things happen every year and every year gets more and more exciting as technology advances and the world changes. What are you most looking forward to seeing in social media in 2018?