5 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Social messaging When people discuss social media, there always seems to be more focus on social networks than social networking. That’s pretty strange, considering that messaging apps have a much wider community of users than social networks. Over-the-top (OTT) messaging and SMS messaging are millennials’ preferred form of communication. The fight against fake news Every year, more and more people, especially millennials, are turning to the internet as their main news source instead of TV, newspaper, or radio. Even news sources are citing Facebook Live videos when covering major events. The world of media is changing thanks to live video. Augmented reality is actually an old technology that’s started to go viral thanks to social media. And just like live video, augmented reality create new opportunities for brands to connect with their audience by sharing experiences, rather than just information, on social media. Facebook had integrated them within Facebook Messenger, and businesses are now using them to communicate with customers. You can only expect the tool to become more popular in 2017 -- especially since social media sites are doing everything they can to keep people on their platform instead of navigating away to a business website.

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Social media is one of the fastest changing industries out there. Sometimes a cutting-edge technology changes the social game, or an old idea (e.g. virtual reality) gains viral popularly. Either way, the results always have a huge impact and 2017 will be no different. Here are five social media trends that will dominate 2017.

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1. Social messaging

When people discuss social media, there always seems to be more focus on social networks than social networking. That’s pretty strange, considering that messaging apps have a much wider community of users than social networks. In fact, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WeChat together have more users than the big networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Over-the-top (OTT) messaging and SMS messaging are millennials’ preferred form of communication. Sixty-two percent of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage them via those channels and an estimated two billion users will be messaging through OTT apps by 2018. Why is this so? Millennials want the personal touch, transparency and collaboration that the one-on-one communication allows.

Businesses are already taking advantage of the huge audience base on social messaging platforms — on Facebook, you can click on an ad and it takes you directly to a chat window with the brand. As more brands start to realize the value of social messaging compared to regular social networks, they’ll make even more efforts to have a presence there.

2. The fight against fake news

Every year, more and more people, especially millennials, are turning to the internet as their main news source instead of TV, newspaper, or radio. As a result, there’s been a rise in “fake news” from sites that deliberately publish and circulate inaccurate information about current events.

We saw the worst of it during the 2016 presidential election — fake news about both candidates was shared widely across Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. Now, Facebook is already taking steps to curb fake news appearing on the site. These “news outlets” are no longer allowed to advertise on the platform.

But the fight against fake news isn’t likely to stop there. Germany is already considering legislation to fine social media sites that let fake news proliferate. That’s bound to…

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