What will be the big social media trends for 2017?

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3 January
12:57
3 January
13:30

First of all I think we’ll see an increased understanding in how to use social media and video. In 2016 we’ve seen shorter videos, wider use of captions and developments such as Facebook launching autoplay. In 2017, we’ll have an even better understanding of how to produce more engaging and more shareable content.

I also think we’ll see a maturing of live video. Many players are already doing it – Facebook Live and Periscope. Brands are becoming comfortable with live video and the format is becoming part of social media packages. Live stream content is still in its infancy but marketers are quickly learning howto harness its power, especially in mobile and social friendly formats, such as YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat

"With AR and VR the tech is only going in one direction. It’s still relatively new but if you look at the hardware units sold this Christmas you can see VR is quickly growing in popularity."

It’s also clear that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are going to be the next big online players. The web started as sets of text pages; now audio and video are a core part of the web. As technology has matured, the web is now full of rich media. With AR and VR the tech is only going in one direction. It’s still relatively new but if you look at the hardware units sold this Christmas you can see VR is quickly growing in popularity. Companies will be experimenting and of course mistakes will be made, but there are huge opportunities for brands that get it right. 

I also think Snapchat has really challenged the market and this will have an effect in 2017. They’ve proved that people really love filters, and manipulating images and videos, whether it’s adding horns and halos or the faceswap kind of stuff. Other social platforms are copying their features, we’ve got Google filters and Facebook are also investing in photography. I think we’ll see a lot more of this.

Expiring content is another area that is set to grow – that notion that you post something and it goes no further. Other networks are beginning to mimic the Snapchat model – for example Instagram stories.

"Social networks are turning the screw and no longer allowing corporates free access to users. It is increasingly difficult to create content that will go viral by itself."

In a wider context what this all means for 2017 is that corporates and brands are going to have to hand over more money to social platforms in order to reach big audiences. Social networks are turning the screw and no longer allowing corporates free access to users. It is increasingly difficult to create content that will go viral by itself. 

Big brands are investing more money in order to effectively manage different channels whether that’s across devices (desktop, mobile) or across a wide range of social networks. It’s a win-win situation – users get more consistent, quality content, brands get a better return on investment. 

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