Last year, we published four social media trends that would dominate in 2017, and they did not disappoint. Live video took the internet by storm; Snapchat and Instagram reached a showdown; and virtual reality technology took social media users out of this world. But in a surprising turn of events, 2017 produced a new trend in social media that shook the world: the role of foreign interference in democratic institutions through social media.
During the 2016 U.S. election, foreign agents used social media accounts to influence voters and Silicon Valley did not tackle the issue head on. It’s still mostly unclear how executives are working to resolve this issue, but, nevertheless, social networks have big things planned for the new year.
Here’s a few things you can expect.
Snapchat’s fate will be decided in 2018
When we predicted the face-off between the two social media titans Snap Inc. and Facebook Inc., we did not understate it. In 2017, Facebook Inc. was the clear winner of this matchup with its product we all love to post to: Instagram. Instagram won by playing Snapchat’s game but better. An improved story feature, face filters, stickers, links in stories, and more helped elevate Instagram’s daily usage and bring down Snapchat’s numbers. In 2018, expect Snapchat to fight for its life. The app must make major changes in order to survive, including appealing to a wider audience and improving revenue options, or it will face a demise similar to the original rendition of Vine
New year, same problems for Twitter
In March, Forbes asked “How Is Twitter Still Alive?” It’s a fair question to ask when the network has been circling the drain for years. Since the beginning, Twitter has made little changes, with the exception of the network’s layout and, most recently, increasing the character count for tweets. However, the current state of the world has made Twitter the place for fast and unfiltered information. Most Americans now say they get their news from apps like Twitter––67 percent to be exact. With that being said, expect Twitter to remodel itself in 2018 and mold itself more as a media company instead of a social networking app.
More content moderation from Silicon Valley
During the 2016 election, Americans were deceived by fake news articles and controversial content that was shared among the masses. In an effort to restore trust, expect tech giants to moderate content more strictly and play an important role in improving the quality of social media and reduce abuses.
Vine strikes back
The internet lit up weeks ago when the co-founder of Vine, which shut down in January 2017, tweeted a familiar logo. In the tweet he also announced he was working on a follow-up to the popular 6 second looping video app. While it’s unknown whether or not the comeback will actually happen, social video shows no signs of slowing down and if Vine 2.0 does launch, the digital world will welcome it back with open arms.
Messaging apps will take off
This year, social media became the online marketplace for top brands and even smaller businesses. With the holiday season fast approaching, e-commerce on social media is expected to bring in huge numbers for brands. With e-commerce comes customer service and support. In 2018, expect brands to use popular instant messaging apps like Messenger and WeChat to communicate fast and directly with customers.
Looking forward to any updates in particular? Have strong feelings about Silicon Valley? Sound off in the comments below.