Take a look at our predictions for social media in the year 2016, curated by our own Michael Olson.

2016 Social Media Predictions:

  • Live broadcast will soon be the norm: Brands and individuals alike will further take up live streaming services to share the world around them, using the tool to offer candid and exciting insider access. To meet this trend, Facebook will soon roll out a live broadcasting feature to compete with the likes of Periscope.
     
  • Marketers will flock to native video: With Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all offering options for native video, marketers will increasingly invest in the format to seamlessly blend their message into social network news feeds.
     
  • Social search advances: Pinterest’s recently introduced visual search feature (where users actually click on different objects in an image to open a separate, channeled search) is testament to the advancing capabilities of social media searches. The fact that users are heading to social networks to research products and services means that SEO will soon focus more on social media platforms and less on search engines.
     
  • Buy buttons: All major social media networks have introduced some form of the buy button and will continue to build out the scope of the function to make way for a social commerce boom. 
     
  • Pinterest is set to blow: Pinterest’s focus on goods is unique in the social media landscape. Dominated by women in their 30s with young families and a tendency to shop, Pinterest will continue to galvanize and draw in fashion-forward users with discretionary incomes.
     
  • In-app functionality: Facebook’s enormous range of services makes it the king of in-app functionality. Networks looking not only to compete but to retain users on a long-term level will continue to offer ever more opportunities to engage with their audiences on one platform.
     
  • Social networks as publisher: In the same vein as in-app functionality, social media networks have been experimenting with the integration of long-form editorial content. Considering Facebook’s Instant Articles and Twitter’s coming Project Lightning, social media platforms are evolving so users don’t have to leave them to access their preferred content.
     
  • Mobile and touchscreen first: Brands will optimize their campaigns and marketing efforts first and foremost to meet the needs and confines of smartphones and tablets. 
     
  • Brands will recruit more influencers: About 25% of all branded search results is user-generated content, which means a quarter of the content about one’s brand is not developed by their marketing team. To lead word of mouth narrative, influencers will be recruited to tell brand stories in a natural and trustworthy manner