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We may not be able to predict what the next big social platform will be, but what we can tell you is where we believe the direction of social media is heading.
In the past year, we’ve seen the rise of live-streaming applications such as Periscope and Meerkat. These apps allow users to ‘attend’ events and ‘engage’ with celebrities and influencers, remotely, from their device of choice. Snapchat, the ephemeral video-messaging application, has gripped millennials and brands, and is expected to reach 100 million active users within the year. Even the Advertising Industry underwent a transformational shift. Brands now seek out online influencers, and use social media platforms to reach audiences in a highly cost-effective, targeted approach. The most unbelievable part… none of this was around a few short years ago. So where does social media go from here? While the possibilities are endless, there exists two distinct avenues; an increase in connectivity and the development of immersive environments.
Social media’s underlying theme of connectivity will continue to flourish. One of the main catalysts eliminating the barriers of communication has been developments in software. Most recently, Google Translate allows for real-time voice and image based translations. Voice-control will continue to progress allowing users to dictate commands such as liking and sharing. We’re also seeing a growth of even more niche online communities, where individuals can connect with others who share the same hobbies or interests.
Social media will also permeate into the realm of virtual reality (VR). No longer will you need to be in the immediate proximity of an individual to experience a ‘live’ concert, sporting event or boardroom meeting. The obstacles that used to limit the use of VR technology such as affordability, method of delivery, and public demand have started to disappear. Facebook and Google have heavily invested in VR hoping to make it more publicly adopted in the very near future. Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuck has spoken on the adoption rate of newly released technology stating “It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios; television thirteen years to earn an audience that size; Instagram a year and a half.” As virtual reality becomes more prevalent within the public domain, the ways in which it can be utilized for social media will be limitless.
The future of marketing will continue to be decided by consumers, who hold the power to filter out anything that fails to interest them, especially in the social media space. Marketers will need to fight back with creativity.