So you think you’ve got time to start planning for 2016? Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t. Not anymore at least. It’s already December and 2016 is coming fast. There are always seemingly hundreds of predictions about the future of social media going into a new year. This year is no different. We know there’s no time to read them all, so we picked some of the most interesting and original predictions from Social Media Today’s top 30 predictions.
- Increased engagement on Twitter. Twitter is always being somewhat unfairly compared to Facebook. As such, the platform has been developing ways to compete and we expect them to continue this. From more emphasis on polls, emoji reactions, and additions to the Moments feature to even more features being introduced, Twitter needs to get creative to stay relevant.
- Editing tweets. Another feature we expect Twitter to try is allowing users to edit their tweets. Users have been looking for this feature for years now, so odds are it will be popular.
- Facebook will begin virtual reality. Okay, virtual reality research has already been started and probably won’t be rolled out in 2016, but Facebook will probably encourage use or 360-degree videos.
- Slowed growth on Instagram. It seems like 2015 was Instagram’s year. The platform grew exponentially, but we expect this to slow fairly significantly because of the introduction of ads. Brands have been thrilled by this introduction, but users were not. Based off the history of other social media platforms, Instagram’s user base will start to leave the site now that they are seeing ads in their feeds.
- Greater restrictions on Instagram ads. As a result of users leaving, Instagram is likely to start placing tighter restrictions on publishers’ ads. Facebook has seen success with their 20% rule and we predict Instagram to duplicate this as well as add even more restrictions.
- More buying from Pinterest. With the increase in buyable pins and the introduction of smarter search tools, users have already started buying more products directly from Pinterest. This is likely to become even more popular.
- Snapchat will have it rough. If 2015 wasn’t the year of Instagram, it was the year of Snapchat. After being valued at $16 billion, the platform has huge expectations to perform. While Snapchat is currently trying to keep users happy by limiting ads, they’re under tremendous pressure from publishers. Snapchat is going to have to make tough decisions and jump over major hurdles in the upcoming year, including a potential new challenger.
- Ad blocking will stick around. This probably comes as a surprise to no one, but ad-blocking probably isn’t going anywhere…not only in practice but also in conversation. Be prepared to see more about the battle between ad-blockers and publishers.