Six Epic Social Media Trend Predictions for 2018Dave Bouwmeester
With the start of the new year, comes my eagerly awaited googling to check out what the industry experts are predicting that will happen with Social Media for the year. As a keen inbound & digital marketing enthusiast, who is consistently on the lookout for new and exciting ways to generate traffic or get brand messaging across, I think it is time I had a crack at making some “epic” social media trend predictions of my own for 2018. Let’s see if I am even close when it comes to this time next year (although two years ago I predicted that SNAP inc (Snapchat) would go public).
1) Twitter will make a (small) comeback or be sold
My first daring prediction is that Twitter will either make a small comeback or will be sold. The battling social media platform has not seen an increase in the number of users for a while now. That and given their verified users problems that they had in late 2017 should see their executive team either overhaul their platform or sell it off. While I think Google may be an interested party should it be sold, I firmly believe that the company has to start thinking of its user base first. For Instance, I have personally experienced the rigmarole associated with lodging trademark and username requests. The VYER brand will never undertake twitter advertising if we cannot secure the @vyer handle.
2) Instagram’s DAU (Daily Active Users) will smash Snapchat’s
Back in June 2017, a few articles were published about (http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-worried-instagrams-daily-active-user-growth-2017-6/?r=AU&IR=T) the steady increase of Instagram users compared to the rather flat (with minimal incline) growth from Snapchat.
Even a prompt google search will reveal that SNAP inc is diversifying. With this somewhat direct digression from its Snapchat product, the snap.com meta-description is “Snap Inc. is a camera company.”
Snapchat is still a Gen Z social media platform of choice, and digital marketers need to consider this should they need to reach the up and coming decision makers.
Overall while the growth in Instagram should regress a tad to the mean (i.e. stop growing so quickly), I do not think the Snapchat app will come close to Instagram’s without some significant UX (user experience) improvements and/or new features.
3) Google+ will merge with Twitter or cease operation
As I prophesied in prediction 1 Google+ the graveyard of all social media platforms will either merge with Twitter (From all reports Google and Twitter have a friendly relationship) or fold. If the platform folds, I would hazard a guess that Google + will become part of Google My Business/Search Console, allowing users to do a quick post/ update which will DIRECTLY update Maps & Google Search (think special offer).
4) Amazon v YouTube
There has been much chatter about Amazon’s planned creation of a YouTube competitor, which is fallout from Google and Amazon’s recent public quarrel. In what I have cheekily dubbed “The Googlezon War”, what started as a pretty trivial argument about integration has almost turned into a full-blown war between the two technology giants.
Awarding maximum points for further pettiness in the Googlezon war, Amazon has lodged a name trademark request for… wait for it, you will not believe it, or maybe you will Drum Roll, please … AmazonTube.
Regardless, I think it will do well. Amazon has a killer Internet know-how, and I am excited to see what Amazon come up with, and how YouTube handles it.
5) Facebook remains the dominant player
I could have copied this from everyone’s predictions from the last four years. With advancements in business.facebook.com, advertising in messenger and cross-platform integration with Instagram I do not think this will change.
The only thing that Facebook should be wary of is the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram with Generation Z. However, then again Facebook owns Instagram. So maybe it is not a worry after all.
6) Augmented Reality becomes mainstream
Remember Pokemon Go? Of course, you do, it was one of the first successful apps that managed to perfect AR (Augmented Reality). Another AR venture was Google Glass. If you remember a few years ago Google launched Google Glass with the dream that people can mix reality with digital in a pair of glasses. Although it was poorly received, and ultimately scrapped, full credit to Google and the advancements they made in AR. The device, in my opinion, was years ahead of its time.
I predict that going forward AR will become more integrated into our daily lives. Now I am not talking about AR integration like seen in the movie franchise Blade Runner (think massive moving Billboards). I am more suggesting we will see social media advertising which allows you to place a new sofa in your lounge room or try on clothes before you buy through a platform like Instagram or Snapchat.
These predictions may be far off the mark, or even obsolete by the time you read this. But that’s the exciting, dynamic world of social media. The team at VYER are passionate about Social Media and Disruption in the digital space. We stay up to date, so you don’t have to. If you are unsure about anything in this article, feel free to reach out to the team at VYER for a chat, we are always here (and eager) to help.