2016 has been a wild ride. We’ve experienced some great things and some things that were not so great. Nevertheless, the breakneck speed at which 2016 went certainly showed in the explosive, dynamic changes in social media trends. Here are four big changes social media experienced this year.
1. Live Video
Live video has really taken off this year, especially with the introduction of live streaming on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As confirmed by the live streaming mobile app Periscope in previous years, recording live via mobile device has proven to be a simple process with the content being easily accessible to those interested in watching the stream. Other social outlets followed Periscope’s lead and in 2016, live video exploded. Mainstream events such as the 2016 Presidential Election took to live video, raking in viewers by the millions.
2. The Big Shift
Once upon a time, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn were regarded as the heavy-hitters in the social media world. In 2016, the title of Top Social Media Outlet is now shared not only between Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but also Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram and Snapchat help diversify your social media options and also attract a larger millennial audience, which brands have begun to take advantage of, with the inclusion of sponsored ads emerging on these platforms.
3. Content with Expiration Dates
With nearly 1.8 billion people actively using social media, content is bound to become cluttered, which begged the question: how can you clean up a feed while still providing content? Snapchat provided a solution that cleaned up feeds and also increased user interaction with brand content: temporary stories. With this feature, published stories are posted with an expiration date, which is usually 24 hours. The nature of these posts makes the message seem more urgent, which is what would drive more people to interact with story content. Today, Instagram has joined Snapchat with the development of Instagram Stories, which also expire.
4. Increase in Social Interaction Apps and the Diversification of Social Contact
The point of social media is to interact with other people online and many app developers are creating an opportunity to encourage more conversation between brands and people while also working to switch up these conversations. Messenger apps like Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and LINE, grant users access to some brands, serving as a personal customer service desk accessible from your phone. Developers have also diversified social media contact with the introduction of Snapchat and Instagram, where communication between brands and consumers is not restricted to text. Now, conversations can occur through the usage of video and photo sharing, which makes these experiences more personal.
Social media has been around for a while, growing and adapting to the changes we make as a society. Today, social media has changed to serve as a tool that can effectively bridge the gap between brands and consumers and provide a more personalized social media experience. And though these trends are reflective of their time, they are not a 100% guarantee to work for every brand or marketing strategy.