Hello and welcome to the final part of our end of year blog. I hope you enjoyed our recent blogs on Wellbeing: Positive digital lives and switching off and Trust: The new digital currency. If not, do take a step back and catch up.
This final edition looks at the various uses of social that have developed over the last year, beyond socialising. And what this might mean for the year ahead.
Social is no longer just for socialising
We’ve come a long way since the simpler days of connecting and chatting with friends on our social media channel of choice. While this will always form the core of online social networks, through 2018 we have seen continued development. Social media is now used for so much more than socialising.
As we predicted almost exactly a year ago, 2018 has seen the launch of a range of longform and shortform video offerings. Watch, Facebook’s online TV channel, went global in August this year It attracted over 50 million monthly viewers in the US alone. And allocated $1bn for content commissions in 2018.
IGTV, Instagram’s bespoke video app, launched in June with content made available immediately to its 1bn users through the standard Instagram app. Twitter and YouTube have continued to invest in original and licensed content for their own platforms. And Twitter launched audio only broadcasting to its Periscope app, to harness the growing popularity of podcasts and live content.
Without exception, all the major social platforms have released new tools to help ‘normal’ people to create interesting and engaging content. No longer do you need to be a trained video editor, designer or programmer to build beautiful and interactive tools.
For example, Twitter now automatically crops preview versions of images. Vine2 was launched, enabling the simple creation of short videos. Facebook added the ability to post 360 pictures and HD videos to Messenger, and Instagram introduced Emoji sliders for voting.
New design tools have appeared in the Facebook Ads Manager app, alongside easy ways to turn photos and text into video ads. Facebook launched its Creator service, giving people tools and advice on how to create brilliant video content. Twitter launched a new website to help content publishers.
Shopping & Monetisation
As we predicted last year shopping has come to social in a big way.
Snapchat has added buttons to sponsored AR lenses that have previously proved very successful for the likes of Taco Bell who leveraged user-generated content in their marketing.
Facebook has been testing AR news feed adverts looking for engaging new ad formats.
Social media sites are beginning to offer more ways for people to sell products and services, but also to monetise their activity on the platform.
Facebook, for example, launched its Collabs Manager, a tool that connects brands with content creators and influencers on the platform. They can then work together to create highly targeted and relevant content to use in their marketing.
Facebook has also tested Paid subscription groups, allowing people to make money from the time and effort they put into managing popular online groups.
Thanks for sticking with us through this series. We hope you’ve found them useful. If you missed any of the previous ‘Social Media in 2018’ blogs, you can catch up on our blog page.
And if this has whetted your appetite to develop your social strategy, learn some Facebook advertising, start a podcast, master Instagram or learn how to make awesome content and professional iPhone videos… you know where to find us!
All the best, see you in 2019!