We’re only 10 days into the New Year and already we’re seeing the launch of virtual reality shoes at CES and rumours of a Tweet edit button coming to Twitter. With new trends, filters and apps launching daily, Jacqueline Buckland, social media account director at Eulogy, looks into the year ahead and makes nine predictions for the biggest social trends of 2017.
The rise of Centennials
Centennials, also nicknamed ‘Generation Z’, are people born after the year 2000, fluent in emoji, very visually led and are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media in their daily lives.
As they begin to celebrate their 17th birthdays, get weekend jobs and driving lessons, they become incredibly appealing to brands and advertisers.
To capitalise on this, 2017 will see a rise in fashion, make-up and gaming brands on platforms such as Snapchat to capture their attention and lure in a new customer wave.
Pay up or shut up
With social algorithms changing more and more (especially on Facebook), branded content and even that of friends and family is being seen less and less.
Facebook will become a paid only channel for brands in the coming years and other platforms will begin to follow suit. 2017 will see a drop in organic reach for Instagram and more so on Twitter as we move further away from chronological order.
Virtual reality / augmented reality
Snapchat Lenses have revolutionised the world. With their simplified augmented reality (AR) experience in the form of filters, masks and stickers, they are becoming a daily love for many.
2017 will see much more of this and across more and more social channels. Virtual reality (VR) will majorly take off too, especially with the launch of Playstation VR headsets and a number of games to play on them set for release this year.
Mobile only content
We know that mobile first should be at the top of every brand’s agenda and that approximately 90% of social content is viewed on a smartphone or tablet. But, this year we’ll see a rise in mobile only and dark content.
Facebook Canvas is a great example of this – lots of information and visual assets all housed in one interactive place. It’s likely we’ll see a steep rise in handset targeting and ’24 hour’ disappearing content too.
Big take off of live video
Even in its infancy, live video is becoming huge, especially in the gaming world. With three of the biggest social platforms currently offering live video functionality (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat), we’re going to see an even bigger uplift in people using it.
This will be from a personal point-of-view following the huge saga of ‘Chewbacca Mom’ and also from a brand perspective as more polished streaming options become available.
With many households welcoming Alexa over Christmas, it appears chatbots are going to be big business. Checking the weather, turning the lights off, playing your favourite album are all easy speech requests in the home and replying to text messages and setting an alarm are easy to do on your phone.
This year, there will be an amalgamation of the two. You’ll be able to dictate your Facebook status and select the most recent photo in your camera roll and upload to Instagram with chosen hash tags verbally.
WhatsApp friend ads
SMS, iMessage, Messenger, WhatsApp – we love to text! With brands heavily speaking to customers on social channels, TV, radio etc, it’s only a matter of time before they up their game on text. Although many brands already send out text messages to customers, it will be WhatsApp next with the introduction of ‘brand friend’ contacts to update you on new product lines, sales and offers.
Social sales v e-commerce
Instagram launched in-app shopping, Twitter has a ‘buy button’, Facebook has shop functionality and we spend a lot of our days on social platforms. It’s only a matter of time before websites and social networks merge and this year will see a lot of it. Why make people come out of the platform they choose to browse in and go to a website when they can pay right where they are?
Camera and phone camera merge/ add on
Phone cameras are seeing incredible advances, especially Apple’s depth of field option on the iPhone 7+ but, there are still many functions that it cannot compete with compared to a digital camera.
We will see the introduction of more phone accessories to enhance camera capability. Olloclip is probably leading this at the moment with wide-angle and fish eye lens options but, Nikon or Canon is bound to introduce something that blows us out of the water.
- Jacqueline Buckland is social media account director at Eulogy.