The end of the year is a time to reflect on the past, and perhaps plan for the future.
Because of the digital world, some people say we are losing our memory due to the huge amount of information we read every day. To help us remember what has happened in the world, all big digital brands are doing a ‘year in review’ feature, and we owe this to Google with its Google Zeitgeist in 2010. This format keeps getting better and it shows great results year after year.
Google Zeitgeist in 2010 had 3.6 MM visits, and 33.09 MM in 2014. These numbers have made all the other Social Media Platforms want their piece of the cake, so they began replicating the feature.
Some examples are #YearOnTwitter, Youtube Rewind or my favourite one: Your Year In Music by Spotify, which shows you not only global trends, but your personal trends, and compares them to the previous year. This showed me how distant my trends are from my real musical taste, thanks to the variety of tastes of my co-workers 😉 (Thank you Spotify).
But these are not only recaps on digital content. We also have all the Digital experts looking at their crystal balls trying to predict what is going to happen on Social for the New Year. This year, most of them agree that video in all the forms you can imagine is going to be the biggest emergent trend, and Instagram is going to be the cool kid with whom everyone wants to play. With all these predictions, do they always get it right? We need to go back in time and memory to see if we can rely on them.
Trends: Barcodes you can scan with your phone, such as QR codes. Check-ins, thanks to platforms like Foursquare, and group buying thanks to platforms like Groupon, which forever changed the way we bought.
What happened: We did scanned QRs for a while, but in my opinion this never took off. We also went a bit crazy with the check-ins until we became more tuned in to privacy issues, and the whole creep factor in general. Group buying, however, did take off. It really changed our way to buy. Who hasn’t bought a voucher for a restaurant, a massage or even for a gift?
New kids on the block: Instagram and Quora.
Trends: Seeing how much we depend on smartphones these days, it’s no wonder mobile was going to be one of the big things of 2011. Not new, but Q&A Platforms were going to grow massively this year.
What Happened: Mobile didn’t go big. It went huge. It has been unstoppable since then. Not only are most of us dependent on our smartphones, they rule our life nowadays. Q&A platforms, although we had Yahoo Answers and Linkedin Answers (remember that one?). Quora started growing, and stands at nearly 100 million users.
New kids on the block: Google +, Pinterest and Snapchat (although it was born as Picaboo).
Trends: Visual, Visual and more Visual. Video and Picture social media platforms were going to be the real blockbuster in 2012. Real-time content, and apps to digest the huge amount of content that filled our feeds almost overnight.
What happened: Thanks to our smartphones, we always carry a camera with us. Apps like Instagram or Viddy did the rest. Flipboard which was very well stablished on Apple devices, opened to Android devices, and it changed the way brands and users digest the information. The best example of real-time content I can think of is not from 2012 but is one of the best out there…
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) febrero 4, 2013
New kids on the block: Vine, Tinder.
Trends: no more long boring videos, but micro-videos with infinite and hypnotic loops. Google + will increase its number of users.
What happened: Vine became big. Micro-videos and 6-second loops became a way to express ideas in the shortest way we could imagine. In my opinion, this opened the door to the craziness we now know as GIFs. Google + increased its number of users, but only because Google’s other (more popular) services could only be used once you activated an account on Google +, even if you didn’t want to. So now, they have a full party, but nobody is dancing.
Trends: Social Media is mainstream now. Social Media advocates, and employee advocacy is going to grow. If you want to play with the cool kids, you will have to invest in Social Ads. Users start becoming acutely aware of their privacy.
What happened: Everyone has a Facebook Page, a Twitter Profile, and some say if you are not on Linkedin you will never be hired… Brands start planning strategies with KOL’s and how to take advantage of all the employees they have on social as brand advocates. Say hello to Employee Advocacy. Brands saw how their engagement and their visibility kept falling, so they started investing in ‘paid’ to keep the good results coming. Apps like Secret allowed us to share thoughts anonymously.
New kid on the block: Ello (but is anyone using it?)
Trends: Videos everywhere, the rise of Ello. Google + will start to fade away, the decline of Youtube begins, and social ads are everywhere.
What happened: Ello, saw an increased number of registered users from the LGBT community because of that little problem with real names policy on Facebook. Native video on other social media platforms heralds the decline of youtube. And about the ads, well, Instagram ads (1 out of three pictures is an ad) and Twitter has recently announced that Twitter Ads will be exposed to people who are not even registered on Twitter. Let’s see how that goes.
2015, we made it! What will Revolutionise Social Media in 2016?