2017 saw character limits being doubled on Twitter, the rise of the GIF and increased transparency (read more in our 2017 recap blog), but what does 2018 hold for social media? Well, we’ve decided to make some predictions...
Twitter suffered bigly (get it?) in 2017, and apart from the character limit being doubled and the formalisation of Twitter Storms, we think that Twitter needs to open their ears and listen to what their users want from the platform. Hopefully 2018 will see some more platform improvements before its user growth declines.
A bot crackdown. Investigations have found a huge amount of fake accounts that have been able to tweet realistic messages, making the profile look genuine.
A rise in video content. They have already tried, by showing live streams on the ‘Explore’ tab, but this could result in a new tab, specifically for video content.
(Hopefully) the inclusion of an edit button, as long as it shows revision history like on Facebook!
As announced at their F8 conference in 2017, Facebook sees Augmented Reality as its future, with their end goal being a fully immersive experience. AR and VR will become even more popular in 2018
Facebook wants to be more useful for businesses and brands will utilise Messenger and Chatbots within the platform to provide more responsive, interactive customer experiences.
Workplace (formerly Facebook At Work) became free for small businesses in 2017 - we'll see more businesses using the platform for collaboration and communication, potentially taking on Slack and other productivity tools.
Instagram Stories are a huge deal and not just for individuals. And they are not going to slow down in 2018.
Snapchat... after poor financial performance and lacklustre take up of their Glasses product, it needs some direction if it wants to be around in 5-10 years time. Expect to see some major changes, particularly on the business/ad front, to the platform.
Like Facebook, Snapchat is also looking at ways to use augmented reality and advanced communication options. We also think we could see the introduction of animated ‘Animojis’ that responds to facial movements. This would either copy, or be developed with, Apple.
Other themes for 2018
We've already mentioned it, but augmented reality will take off in 2018
Video content was massive in 2017 and will become the norm in 2018. Access to skills and tools used to produce and edit video are more mainstream, making video creation more affordable
Live Streaming grew further in 2017 and a number of technological advances in Facebook Live made production even better. We expect to see even more live streaming in 2018 and a sharp growth in Instagram Live usage
Premium content on social networks. We've already seen Twitter buy the rights for NFL games (which have since gone to Amazon Prime) and with Facebook launching "Watch" , we think we'll see a major new "media" company win the rights to entertainment or sports packages. We might see Facebook or Amazon bid for a package of Premiership football matches in the next round of bidding.