6 Social Media Predictions for 2016

As 2015 comes to an end I’m already being asked for my social media predictions for 2016. I remember writing a similar article last year but my goodness what a difference a year makes! Last year we were talking about new platforms, new page features and Ello… yep… remember Ello? This year things heated up A LOT! So with that in mind, here are my 6 social media predictions for 2016.

1. TWITTER EMOJIS

There are tons of developments set to take place over at Twitter. Among the exciting ones are edited tweets whereby users can edit tweets on embedded content and emojis! Emojis are huge now and with Facebook already experimenting with Reactions it seems logical that Twitter will follow. Expect to see this at the end of Q1.

2. STORYTELLING

Everything about 2015 has been gearing marketers up for more storytelling and less hard sell. Potential customers are increasingly drawn to engaging content, thought leadership and valuable information as opposed to cheesy sales copy. Even ads are now tailored towards storytelling and with Facebook ramping up its ad rules you may soon find that it is difficult to use the hard sell at all without getting your account blocked. Want to read more on storytelling why not check out these ideas over at Social Media Examiner.

3. FACEBOOK OCULUS

Will 2016 be the year for Oculus? For those who don’t know… Oculus is a virtual reality headset which displays an immersive 3D experience. Ideal for playing games the headset concept was purchased by Facebook in 2014.  2016 probably won’t see Oculus in full force but it is likely to see a shift towards virtual reality technology for movies, gaming and socializing. With Facebook’s spherical videos launched in 2015 you can see where this is going.

4. INCREASED SOCIAL ECOMMERCE

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram now heavily push “BUY” buttons to retailers and marketers. They have already made it easier to purchase through social media networks rather than simply gazing wistfully at items you like so what’s next? With in-app innovation prioritizing online shopping I expect to see further tailored apps in 2016. Think Soldsie , Letsell.It and Shopseen but even more advanced with additional sponsored promotion options.

5. MORE PUBLISHING OPTIONS

Facebook’s Instant Articles are just the start of the new publishing options which will open up in 2016. Twitter’s top secret Project Lightning puts publication in the hands of its users bringing event based curated content to the platform. With each platform battling to have articles published directly to their site without linking to an external source you will have to make a decision on this one! I will return to this subject next year but I’m still not convinced I want to go there… don’t be too hasty … remember your SEO!

6.  PRIVACY UPROAR

2015 has been a year of high profile security breaches… think Ashley Maddison and you’re on the right road. Users are demanding a higher level of communication security which Snapchat delivers and Facebook is working on. Expect networks like Linkedin (oh just imagine the potential leaks there!) to increase security and offer more privacy options to users. Google is well aware of the changing privacy landscape so Contributor (currently in beta testing) will allow users to pay $2-10 per month to see up to 50% fewer ads. This could be huge news for digital marketers and adds weight to the theory that we should be leaning towards storytelling.

Do you agree with my 6 social media predictions for 2016 ? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know.