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  • Ishbel Macleod

What will 2019 bring for social media?

Social media changes quickly, so sometimes it is difficult for those who don’t work day-in-day-out to know what is happening. We predict what we think will happen in 2019.

Mike, Managing Director

Instagram will continue to grow, Facebook will still be there – it’s not going to go away any time soon, but will become more of an old-school forum space.

I think it will be interesting to see what happens with social media platforms and TV rights, as we start to look at them more for being publishing platforms for TV shows, football matches, etc. They’ve already started to step into that space with La Liga football matches in India.

IGTV will be an interesting one to watch. Not too many brands are stepping into that space at the moment, so if you can get that march of everyone else then you’ve got a good chance.

Daniel, Strategy Director

BOTS! Brands doing customer service well are already using automated messages and bots, but I can see their use increase and become more mainstream. Expect Messenger popups on more brand pages with more complex “conversation” journeys and integrations. The rise of Alexa and other voice-controlled will only normalise communicating with machines.

Continued rise of dark social. Do you use WhatsApp? Facebook Messenger? Facebook Groups? How many groups or conversations are you part of? It’s become so mainstream for personal use, but I can see brands starting to tap into this style of private conversation more. It’s been attempted before – I used WhatsApp to broadcast discounts to Club Med customers a few years ago – but the interface and infrastructure wasn’t there to make it a success. This might change in 2019. Could you see Facebook Pages with connected Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp Groups, like they have connected Groups already? Why not?

Social Shopping, particularly on Instagram, will break out. It’s there already, and is used sparingly by a few adventurous brands, but how many people have actually bought something off Instagram? This could be the year that it becomes more mainstream.

LinkedIn, since its acquisition by Microsoft, has shown some innovations. Well, by innovations, I mean some features that should have been present years ago. It’s still a frustrating social network for advertisers and brands and it’s locked down API is a real pain, but I think it’ll become more open in 2019. Can we schedule posts within the LinkedIn Page interface please? This feature is about 5 years late already…

Ciara, Community Manager

Stories will continue to grow over the next year and there will be a shift in focus from "feed" content to "Story" content. It will no longer be seen as just a complement to feed content and will stand on its own. There's no stopping Stories!

Richard, Community Manager

1. Snapchat will disappear.

2. Instagram will increasingly choke organic reach (to similar levels as Facebook) in order to push advertising.

3. Any relaunch of Vine will be a flash in the pan, good for nostalgia but far too late.

4. Mark Zuckerberg to adopt Matt Navara.

Ishbel, Marketing Manager

I think vertical video and images are going to become bigger in 2019. As we spend more time on our photos, it’s a no-brainer for brands to want to take up more screen space, and even YouTube has begun to embrace the vertical video.

Influencers will continue to be important, but I think we’ll see even more of a crackdown on those who don’t make it clear when they are advertising something. I think that micro-influencers, with up to 1,000 followers, will grow even more: many of the big names are becoming over saturated so brands will be looking for fresh influencers who can reach niche target audiences.

Chris, Designer

With the boom of stories throughout 2018, and all the interactivity and in-the-moment content that it provides (but mostly gifs, let's be real), I can see brands making an even bigger effort to make this kind of content a more structurally integral part of how they regularly communicate with their audiences in 2019.

It's a chance to show the human side of your business, and that's a crucial thing in the corporate-conscious environment of today (here's looking at you, Zuckerberg). Plus, with only 24hr lifespans, there's room to try new things and really experiment without the fear of it anything that doesn't work lasting forever on your profile. And if you find something that works for you? All the better, run with it! But if all else fails, just use gifs. You'll never beat a good gif.

Also, I’ll be one of five people still using Byte at the end of 2019.

Gail, Community Executive

LinkedIn's ad platform will continue to improve - clearer metrics, better performance. Hopefully get a bit cheaper...

Robyn, Community Executive

Snapchat will die. LinkedIn stories will die. New Vine will be popular but quickly fizzle out.

Oh, and I’ll reach 2,000 followers on Instagram!

Ewan, Insights Executive

Snapchat is still not dead come the 31st December 2019!

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