It seems like social media pops up with industry news almost daily, which makes sense considering it is one of the fastest changing industries out there. Things that can change the social game include advancements in technology, an idea gaining viral attention, and of course platforms working to compete with one another in multiple arenas. As is typical with many industries, there is a lot of conversation around what social media trends will lead 2017. Here is a look at four of them:
1. Real content (a.k.a. live video)
More social platforms are adding the option of live video for users. Earlier this month, YouTube announced their live stream launch. Live authentic content being available on multiple social media outlets is changing how content is served on social platforms and the coverage of major events as well. Now, and moving into 2017, it will be common to see news sources and many other brands citing Facebook Live or other live video channels.
Algorithms can make it harder for businesses to promote organic content on social media. Even Instagram saw the introduction of algorithms in 2016. While social networks have good intention in keeping users happy with the content they see in their feed, it definitely can make it tricky for brands publishing organic content.
As real content and live video continue to trend in 2017, contributing this type of content that is favored on most social media platforms will result in greater traction and push the movement of real content and live video forward.
2. Social messaging
Social messaging are short message services built around social network platforms. Apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber have a huge number of users. WhatsApp states they have over one billion users in 180 countries. Large numbers like this put them in the mix with big social media networks, like Facebook and Instagram.
This form of communication is preferred among Millenials and there are projections that over-the-top messaging could see two billion users by 2018. Over-the-top messaging is a third party instant messaging service that replaces text messaging on Internet connected smartphones.
So what does this mean for business? As brands continue to realize the value of social messaging they will make an effort to have a social messaging presence. It is possible to already find these interactions when you click on an ad, which then takes you directly to a chat window.
It is a natural progression that with the popularity of social messaging growing that technology would be right along side. Customer care is not anything new to business, but adapting to the social media world is. Sprout Social’s Q2 2016 Index (http://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/q2-2016/) estimated the average number of social messages that needed a response to have grown 18 percent year over year.
Chatbots provide businesses the ability to improve customer service by responding to comments and questions quickly. Social media platforms are happy because users don’t deviate from their network to seek out a website for questions and help. Facebook Messenger has included the ability to have a Chatbot and it will be no surprise if other social media platforms follow.
4. Virtual reality
It might be a bit before users actually have the ability to insert themselves into media, but there is a lot going on with augmented reality. Snapchat gained popularity around the ability to have facial filters. It likely won’t be long before artificially intelligent lenses become more common and create new opportunities for brands on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Much like live video, supplemented reality encourages users to connect on social media to share experiences rather than information alone.
Brook Bentley is the digital content manager for the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.