Trends in the Future of Social Media
Think back to what social media was like 10 years ago: Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace were on the rise, and the first iPhone and Android had just hit the market. Most people used desktops to search the internet, and chatting with people via phone was done through texting (anyone remember T9?). Fast forward 10 years, and we still have Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace (yes, Myspace is still there… mostly utilized by musicians and other artists), but we also have a whole lot more: Pinterest, Instagram, Twitch, and SnapChat, to name a few. We’ve gone from rudimentary profiles featuring a few photos and sparkly background gifs to interactive animations, live-streaming, crazy filters, and planning weddings based on gorgeous photo collections.
So, with the way things have changed in 10 years, what can we expect in the coming year? Where are these trends headed? Which types of media will stick around, and which will fall by the wayside?
Older Platforms Remain Steady
Facebook remains popular amongst most Americans, as does YouTube. Facebook and YouTube also remain popular across most age demographics, with the exception being those age 65 and older.
It’s Difficult to Outrank Facebook
Despite Facebook’s somewhat ambivalent stance towards privacy data (to put it politely), the platform is still the social media juggernaut. Some 80% of adults ages 18-49 use Facebook. The only contender even close to Facebook is YouTube, with 73% of US adults saying they use the platform. Other platforms trail far behind: Instagram at 35%, Pinterest at 29%, Snapchat at 27%, LinkedIn at 25%, Twitter at 24%, and WhatsApp at 22%.
People Love Video
Of all these platforms, one trend stands out: People want to watch videos. They use Facebook Watch, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter to consume media. Twitch is unique in that people log on to watch gamers stream live gaming sessions. And, let’s not forget streaming TV: Roku, IGTV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Hulu… there are so many options out there for streaming video.
Chatting is Also Important
People want to be able to chat with friends all over the world. This includes using chat platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, and DMs in other platforms, such as SnapChat, Twitter, and Instagram. Chatbots are also growing in popularity, with online retailers being particularly ken on this technology. However, lots of sites are beginning to use them—Zoek included! They are always available to answer questions and are likely to deliver solutions to many simple problems. This makes users more likely to follow through with their purchases, since they don’t have to navigate away and wait 12 hours to give a representative a call.
There are lots of other new technologies in the making right now. We’re excited to see what the next 10 years have to offer—and it’s fun to reflect and see how far social media has come!