Are you ready for what social media has in store for the future? If so, then do have a look. If not, still have a look. Why? Because social media evolves constantly. It excites many social media enthusiasts when they think about how it will look like in a few years.
This means that the social media universe must keep up with the ever-increasing and evolving demands of business online, brands, consumers, users and authorities alike. Brands continue to change their strategies once new trends emerge.
What will the future of social media look like from the perspective of a user, a brand and a social media monitor/manager? Let us now take a good look at the many possible trends we could be seen as soon as this year:
1. More privacy and security on the cards
In social media’s current climate, it’s quite important for brands to look for and implement methods in building trust among consumers. This starts with how they connect with audiences. Legitimate privacy concerns are on the rise as social media users are becoming quite aware of hose their data is being used.
The future of social media will hence see a rise in users opting for an option, known as ‘Dark Social.’ It basically involves online social interactions taking place privately in messaging apps, emails and other social outlets for the sake of private sharing.
In fact, around 84% of the outbound sharing of consumers done from websites is now done privately. Dark social channels like these will be on the rise in the next few years.
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2. More concentration on video
In the next few years, almost 60% of the content will be based on video and that video consumption through social media is on the rise. It is estimated that people look at videos 5 times more than they look at static content (like images & text) on both Facebook and Instagram.
Consequently, it is almost guaranteed that social media users will be seeing more videos all over social media soon. Live videos will also become more popular, given their recent success.
3. A reduction in personal content and a rise in memes
Facebook claims that they observed a drop of 21% in original and personal updates in 2016 as users now communicate in shared articles and memes solely. In general, social media users are sharing less personal information across major networks due to a preference to showcase external content, such as interesting videos, humorous memes and others to their social circle.
4. Consumer preference for fewer ads and premium services
For a long time, ads on social media have been a nuisance and plague. Most social media users not only are fed up with them but also with no one ever added them on social media. However, a lot of people have sacrificed ad-free experiences for free app experience saturated with ads.
Premium services can be on the rise as well, as social media users prefer high-quality images, videos, and audio. This is what they have become used to in recent times. Only time will tell if they are willing to spend more money on such or not.
Social media’s future is mobile and by 2020, an estimated 3 billion people will have access to mobile phones. In addition, a lot more people are now using their smartphones as the primary source for accessing social media platforms. This is the reason why future platforms will be designed with smartphones in mind from conception.
6. No need to type a lot of words
It is said that around 50% of online searches will be conducted through image and voice by the year 2020. With voice and image search becoming quite popular alongside audio snippet messages, social media could see the act of typing become antique soon.
7. More emphasis on visuals
With social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat becoming popular, there has been an unprecedented rise in visual content. Camera access is now easier than before (with all phones having a built-in camera) thus photos and videos will be conquering social media.
8. The influence of A.R and V.R has just started
The world of marketing will now be introducing more practical applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality (A.R & V.R). The same also applies to social media platforms.
Hootsuite reveals that social messaging apps of the likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, QQ and BitMoji will be using A.R. to raise advertising revenue soon. Technology is one of the fastest-growing industries present today, and A.R & V.R are not an exception.