Top Social Media Trends for 2018

It’s very clear that social media isn’t going away anytime soon. What started out with MySpace and Orkut (or if we go back even further – the website SixDegrees and chat rooms) has turned into a money-making venture where professionals, dubbed “influencers,” interact daily with regular people who just want to state their opinions.

With that said, social media usage constantly changes as users try to keep up with the newest inventions. Here are some of the top social media trends for 2018.

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories were launched about a year ago on the already popular photo-sharing platform known as Instagram. These stories allow users to share a bit more information than they could previously. The short, multi-second snippets of videos and still photos with captions disappear within 48.

In this regard, they’re kind of like Snapchat. As more and more users begin to take advantage of this additional technology, expect to see it expand and grow. The newest innovation allows users to save their stories to their profiles, complete with cover pictures. Where will things go from here? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Live Streaming

Another social media trend that’s predicted to take off this year is live streaming. Although Facebook has already weathered controversies about it, including several live streamed deaths and other NSFW content, that’s not going to slow this trend down.

People want to share what they’re doing while they’re doing it. The influencers are going to use this technology to their advantage, sharing details on their sponsors as they shop for clothes or take vacations. It’s then going to trickle down to the average user who will begin sharing their live statuses as well.

Will this practice take the place of traditional video streaming sites like YouTube? Well, it may not be this year, but it might in the future.

Careful Moderation

Due to the aforementioned snafus with Facebook’s live streams, as well as the proliferation of Russian bots and other calls to get hate messages off of social media, expect to see some moderating take place.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube, the “big four” will most likely hire some people and set some ground rules when it comes to monitoring and removing content. There needs to be some sort of response, lest the sponsors and investors become angry and take their money elsewhere.

But at the same time, they do need to be careful about what they remove, or they risk losing users to the next big thing, whatever that will be.


Augmented Reality

Google Glass is just one example of augmented reality in the social media world. The people behind the invention recently announced that the next steps in this program involve virtual business cards and other things that people can exchange using the technology. It won’t be long before Apple follows suit with their own version. Just how does this affect social media?

Well, imagine being able to look through your Google Glass device to see reviews of a restaurant or people’s opinions of a work of art in a museum. There are so many different things that social media creators have yet to seize on as far as augmented reality is concerned, although 2018 will most likely be the year that this happens.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been on the rise in recent years, and despite some issues (including the influencer pushed, yet epic failure of a music festival called Fyre) don’t expect this to slow down anytime soon.

If anything, brands will find more influencers to use, new opportunities will open up, and you’ll see more paid-for content on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, and Facebook. The influencers may change a little as time goes by, but they will still be around – and they’ll be more “influential” than ever.

Gaming Experiences Will Be Added to Social Media

No, this prediction doesn’t refer to the games that people play on Facebook. Rather, it will appear in the form of monetary transactions. For example, rather than directing people to a store via a profile link on Instagram, people will be able to click on the pictures and immediately purchase that item. The integration of gaming technology, shopping transactions, and social media is supposed to take place this year fully. The systems are poised and ready for this to happen.

Ads, Ads, and More Ads

When social media networks were launched, their main target was to build a loyal audience base. Once this was accomplished, the focus shifted to generating revenue through paid services. In 2015, Google made roughly $75 billion in revenue through ads. Facebook on the other hand makes more than $1 billion per quarter through paid advertising.

The sole reason why companies tend to focus on ads is to bring in consistent sales from day one. And if you look at the stats, the global social ad spending doubled from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016 which only means that businesses are focusing more and more on revenue through ads.

So, when it comes to choosing which is a better marketing strategy, social media advertising beats everything hands down. There’s no other avenue that can deliver quality, consistent, and scalable leads as well as support your existing running marketing campaigns. No wonder, the advertising space is bound to grow by leaps and bounds in 2018.

As you can see, there are some social media trends for 2018 that seem like no-brainers. Yes, influencer marketing is going to stay popular, Instagram stories are going to expand and advertising budgets are going to grow in many different ways. Others, such as augmented reality and gaming experiences seem almost like they stepped out of a science fiction movie.

However, they are indeed real, and the experts believe that 2018 will be the year that they take off. It’s definitely time to accept that social media is here to stay, and it will keep growing and changing as time goes by. So, to avoid missing the bus, make sure you remain updated and have a killer social media campaign to boast of.

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