When social media first began, with its projected marketing potential, critics claimed it wasn’t viable. Now social media platforms have many useful advertising options while still boasting ways to offer information for free. Every year new platforms emerge. According to Forbes magazine, the following social media technologies are predicted to dominate the industry in 2016.
- Instant Video Updates:
Periscope, which was acquired by Twitter, now allows people to give a live video broadcast. Compare that to taking a video, uploading it, and posting it later. Instagram and Snapchat also support immediate updates. This trend could add yet another layer of immediacy for social media platforms and then companies won’t have to rely on planning and scheduling all social media posts in advance.
- Buy Buttons:
Facebook and Pinterest are just two social media platforms that have obtained attention this year by introducing new “buy” features for their advertisers. Mobile users of Facebook and Pinterest who see a product they like in a sponsored post can now use one-click technology to purchase it without ever leaving the app. Instagram isn’t far behind on the trend with this option as well.
- New In-app Functions:
Facebook is always adding new functionalities. In the past year, they’ve introduced Instant Articles, an in-post search engine (to find articles a person can use as references), and videos that play while the user scrolls. Other platforms are working on offering the same, with Twitter, Instagram, and others trying to expand their platforms to a similar degree. The idea behind this is to prevent users from ever needing to leave the app. Expect this trend to continue well into 2016, giving marketers ever more opportunities to engage with their audiences on one platform.
- Publishing Longer Articles
Publishers will be able to publish full-length articles for Facebook users without linking to an external source. Again, the idea is to keep the user from needing to leave the app.
Forbes also discusses users’ privacy issues and how social media platforms are evolving to address these concerns for users, as well as gauging what may be considered intrusive advertising and avoiding those particular techniques.
Fewer social media platforms are expected to emerge as well, as the more viable ones tend to quickly get acquired by one of the big three: Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Social media, since the very beginning, has been a quickly changing platform as users’ preferences also change.