In the ever-changing social sphere, it can be challenging to track new features and trends. With smartphones in the hands of 72% of US adults, nearly anyone can publish, consume, and engage with content anytime, anywhere. However, three main trends can be expected to proliferate social media in 2017, and they all involve transparency, immediacy, interactivity.
1. RETURN TO REAL NEWS
The only thing wilder than the 2016 presidential election were the stories that covered it. The Internet has been booming with fabricated stories masterfully crafted to look like credible reports. This “fake news”, aimed to discredit one presidential candidate or another, is the latest phenomenon to hit US politics.
“Pope Francis Endorses Donald Trump for President”. Fake.
“Thousands of Fraudulent Clinton Votes Found in Ohio Warehouse”. Fake.
A 2013 Pew report found that 62% of US adults get their news on social media, with Facebook as the preferred platform. It’s no surprise, then, that the social media giant came under fire for not guarding its users against misinformation.
But when the people spoke, Facebook listened!
In an effort to maintain its credibility, Facebook has partnered with fact-checking organizations, which can easily flag questionable articles, thereby limiting their proliferation of Facebook News Feeds. Facebook has also banned websites that promote fake news from their advertising services.
What does this mean? 2017 will be the year of more transparency and fact-based news.
2. AUTHENTIC CONTENT
Social media’s latest craze is live streaming. With so many platforms acting as a highlight reel of our lives, it’s nice to have a feature where we can be our unfiltered, authentic selves. This is especially true for brands who can use live streaming to address their consumers on a human level. The best part? Production is inexpensive and it’s highly interactive.
Twitter’s social livestreaming service, Periscope, which made its debut in March 2015, now has 10 million users, 1.9 of which are active daily users.
Facebook quickly jumped on the bandwagon and launched FB live in April 2016. Mark Zuckerberg himself streamed a live Facebook video to address all questions on the day of the launch.
Now Instagram offers live video on Instagram Stories, which allow users to share all moments of their day freely, not just the ones they want to keep on their profiles.
Social videos have lead to a lot of engagement and channel growth, and we can only anticipate live video to grow in popularity.
3. AUGMENTED REALITY
According to Augment.com, “ Augmented reality enhances experiences by adding virtual components such as digital images, graphics, or sensations as a new layer of interaction with the real world” and this technology is quickly entering the mainstream.
Some companies have even begun to implement AR in their marketing campaigns. Clothing brand H&M, for example, ran a brilliant campaign that allowed shoppers to virtually try on clothes featured in its shop windows.
Similarly, Sephora worked with ModiFace to create an augmented reality mirror that allows shoppers to try on any product they want, without putting any on their face.
Twitter 360 and Pokemon Go also entered the AR world when they leveraged GPS technology to superimpose digital images over real world details. Twitter users are able to locate where a twit pic was taken and Poakemon Go gamers were able to explore the real world in search of Pokemon characters.
As the fascination with augmented reality seems to be on the rise, we can expect to see more brands including this futuristic technology in their marketing campaigns. AR devices will become more affordable and a new wave of digital interactive marketing is to be expected.