Trends and Predictions for 2017
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made a statement that set the pace for the next fifty years of growth in Silicon Valley. He said: "the number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months." For those of us not fluent in hardware jargon, what he meant was that Intel products would see exponential growth every two years. While the pace has slowed since his initial prediction, the lasting influence of this prediction has been that tech companies adopted very aggressive growth strategies.
This year we saw tech and social media reach penetration levels that made it almost ubiquitous. For businesses looking to survive, moving towards digital wasn't an opportunity it was a requirement. We also saw the coming of age of Generation Z: the first truly digital generation. This is a group that sees their online presence as an extension of their person with very little separation. This not only changed the way platforms served them (eg: disappearing messages and stories on Instagram) but it also changed the direction of the whole industry (eg: the messenger boom).
Looking forward to 2017, I predict that we'll see even bigger shifts in social media and digital communications across the industry. Here are some of the areas that I'll be keeping my eye on come January.
Messaging and Integrated Services:
The success of China's WeChat has the whole industry looking to replicate their success. Right now WeChat users can order a cab, pay for purchases, play games, book appointments amongst many other features all without leaving the app. There's a race to see who will capture the west's messenger market and Facebook seems in the lead but privacy focused users are still sticking with What's App (especially since the increased encryption update).
Video was hyped to be the biggest thing in 2016 and it certainly made its mark. This was the year we saw Facebook Live become a force in the industry for brands and individuals and we expect to see video evolve even further as 360 degree videos and virtual reality become more universal.
Influencer marketing has seen a shift in numbers. As we mentioned recently, audiences are looking for influencers who speak to them directly. Research shows that influencers on Instagram with 1000- 2000 followers offer the best level of engagement. I predict we'll see brands turning towards their existing communities to see the best results.