Last week, I shared a few social media trends I see taking hold in 2016. It has remained clear that social media will impact small businesses in ways they couldn’t imagine even five years ago. This week, I continue sharing these trends with my readers. Below are some social media trends I see playing a huge role in 2016.
Social media will be happening in the moment, right now
In 2015, we saw the advent of platforms such as Periscope and the recent addition of live video on Facebook. Now, everyone can be a broadcaster on social media at the flick of a switch.
Throughout the coming year, live video and live events will continue to explode on social media, as companies realize their newfound ability to broadcast on the fly to capture customers’ attention. This will mean that companies will have to become more innovative in order to provide the sensory experience that customers will demand on social media.
Google+ may very likely disappear – for good
In 2015, Google continued to promote its own social media platform, Google+. That is, it did until it didn’t. Late in 2015, Google made some sweeping changes to the way Google+ works, and also removed Google authorship permanently earlier this year. What does this mean for 2016?
I believe Google may finally decide to throw in the towel, for good this time, and shut down Google+. The social media platform never took off the way Google intended, and if recent Google behavior is any indicator, it will further streamline its services by removing Google+. Who knows what will happen then?
We’re going to hear about virtual reality a lot
If 2015 was the year that virtual reality graduated to the next level (see Google Cardboard and the NY Times rollout of that product,) 2016 will be the year that virtual reality truly goes mainstream. In 2016, many consumers will be able to get their hands on a low-cost virtual reality viewer, such as Google Cardboard. The result will be companies scrambling to figure out how to take advantage of this new platform.
An interesting question that remains is how social media will be affected by virtual reality. There’s no doubt that live video will play a huge role in this, as 360-video will allow viewers to access new virtual environments previously out of reach (think the jungles of Central America or the plains of Africa.) Will virtual reality experiences be streamed over social media? We will soon find out.