Happy (almost) 2017!
2016 was an exciting year for social media. As sharing preferences changes, several platforms made updates to better serve user interests. While social media has always been about connecting to each other, it is interesting to see how the way we connect is constantly evolving. From trends in storied content to the increased popularity of live broadcasting via social, 2016 truly was a transformative year. In 2016’s TYIS, we look back at two of the biggest social media trends of the year.
The Evolution of Storytelling: Disappearing and Storied Content as a Means of Communication
At the start of the year, Snapchat was the only platform that allowed users to share disappearing content and stories. Noting Snapchat’s success, other platforms decided to follow suit. In 2016 Instagram launched Stories, allowing users to create temporary photo and video collages for their followers to enjoy. This feature is a virtual clone of Snapchat’s Story offering. Twitter followed suit, revamping their Moments function, allowing users to share moments from their mobile devices. Facebook started looking more “Snapchatty” too, as it rolled out a Snapchat-style camera that allows users to temporarily share photos with friends. In 2016 the fight for popularity on social was constant, and we expect these platforms to continue testing new means of sharing content in 2017.
Social Media Gets Even More Live
Social media has always been a place where people and companies can give the world real-time updates. But in 2016, social media’s real-time connection became even stronger, as platforms started allowing users to share live broadcasts. Facebook’s Live Video success showed us that users are willing to watch everything from Chewbacca Mom to the impeachment of Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, live online. Twitter too followed up on the live trend, allowing users to share their own live video while also partnering with the NFL to live-stream games. Both platforms also streamed the 2016 US Presidential Debates. Continuing this live trend, just last week Facebook announced that they will launch a Live Audio service, creating the possibility for users to create their own podcast series. Live updates have always been a part of the allure of social media. But in 2016 this appeal evolved from wanting to read about and see pictures of what people are doing, and wanting to connect through video. It raises the question–with companies and media networks having such large social media followings, is it only a matter of time before social media becomes more of a media platform than a social sharing site?
Other Notable 2016 Happenings:
Thanks for following along and keeping up with our weekly TWIS blog posts! We’ll be back in the New Year — Happy Holidays.