5 Social Media Predictions for the Future
The digital world is ever-changing and, in the past few years, we’ve seen social media grow from a niche online trend to a mainstay of internet usage. The way people communicate is constantly evolving — especially when it comes to social media. As new platforms continue to emerge and existing networks evolve beyond their initial scope, how we use social media are changing rapidly. In this blog post, we take a look at the future of social media, predicting what new trends will crop up in coming years and how these changes will affect users across the globe. Read on for an expert breakdown of what the future holds for social media.
More Video Content on Social Media
Social media has already seen a huge rise in video content — with marketers reporting that video ads are increasingly being seen as an effective way to engage with their target audiences. The popularity of platforms like YouTube and Instagram undoubtedly contributes to this, but the trend is likely to continue into the future. It’s predicted that by 2021, the average internet user will be spending nearly half an hour per day watching videos online — compared to less than a quarter of an hour today. This shift towards video content will likely be fueled by a number of factors. For one, the increasing ubiquity of video among social media platforms will increase its presence in users’ daily lives. Additionally, the rise of social media in developing countries is projected to lead to an increase in video content. As these markets are mainly video-driven, video content will likely remain a key trend in social media over the next few years.
One of the biggest changes coming to social media is a shift towards more centralized platforms. With the growth of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram leading to a huge increase in competition, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for new social media networks to break into the market. In the coming years, we’ll almost certainly see a reduction in the number of social media networks in operation, as consolidation leads to some networks being bought and others simply fading away. While this doesn’t mean that social media will become less popular as a whole, it does mean that users will need to be more selective about which networks they engage with. The increasing centralization of social media is likely to reduce the amount of diversity in social media user demographics. While there’s no shortage of social media users today, the future may see a more concentrated user base — with certain social media networks becoming increasingly popular among specific demographics.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
While virtual and augmented reality have been around for some time, they’re only recently starting to become more mainstream. As more and more users adopt virtual and augmented reality headsets, we’ll likely see social media play a bigger role in these emerging technologies. Social media has traditionally been a two-way channel for communication; however, with VR and AR technology, social media moves into a new, more immersive realm. We’re likely to see social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat embrace VR and AR technology further in the coming years. This could come in the form of AR- and VR-focused features or simply an increase in VR and AR-related content from users. VR and AR technology are expected to become increasingly common in the next few years — so it’s likely that social media will play a role in this.
Another emerging technology that’s likely to find a place in social media is voice-based communication. With voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home becoming increasingly central to daily life, it’s possible that social media will start to integrate them. Recently, Facebook has started to experiment with incorporating voice-based communication into its platform. This could lead to an increase in voice-based interactions on social media in the coming years. It’s likely that voice-based communication in social media will take a variety of forms: it may be used for one-to-one communication, to access information, or even for purchasing products and services. Voice-based communication could be particularly useful when interacting with social media on the go — which is increasingly becoming the norm. It’s likely that voice will become a key part of social media in the years to come.
Live Streaming and Real-Time Marketing
Another trend that’s likely to increase in the coming years is the use of real-time marketing. Real-time marketing is basically the use of social media to engage with real-time events. It’s used in everything from sporting events to news coverage, and it’s a trend that’s likely to become even more common in the future. Social media has always been a real-time environment — but as it becomes increasingly integrated with real-time events, we’re likely to see more real-time marketing. This can come in the form of live streaming, which has become a key part of social media in recent years. Live streaming platforms such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s likely that this trend will continue in the future — especially in light of the recent launch of IGTV. Live streaming could play a big role in real-time marketing in the years to come.
Social media is an ever-evolving landscape that’s constantly growing and changing — and this isn’t expected to change any time soon. In fact, as new technologies emerge and existing ones become increasingly integrated into daily life, the rate of change is likely to increase. As this happens, social media will likely undergo significant change. From increased video content to real-time marketing and more, the future of social media promises to be even bigger and bolder than the present.