The time of year has come for all of us to predict the biggest social media trends for 2015. With so many social media platforms and apps fighting for our attention, our privacy and our credit cards, we’re predicting who will come out on top and who might not quite make the cut.
1. More Mobile
According to a report published by analysts at Morgan Stanley mobile internet use will surpass desktop internet use next year as we reach an estimated 2 billion smart phone users. The same report determined that 91 percent of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach. So what does that mean? If consumers are using mobile devices to access the internet, and if mobile searches lead to sales, businesses who do not have mobile friendly content are going to get left behind.
2. Show Me the Money
Expect to pay even more for Facebook Page advertising in 2015. Earlier this year, Facebook made some major changes to its algorithm, limiting the amount of content your Facebook page fans actually see so all of that hard work you’ve put into writing and posting the content, is actually only being seen by less than 10 percent of your fans. Sadly, social media marketing is no longer free.
In November, an announcement was made that beginning in January 2015 Facebook will limit the appearance of posts that feel “too promotional”, or in other words, posts that are heavily pushing a product, app or promotion without any substance.
Advertising is also coming to Pinterest in the form of Promoted Pins (U.S. only) and Instagram who recently launched advertising beginning with promoted posts from six companies only: Air Canada, Hudson’s Bay, Mercedes-Benz, Sport Chek, Target and Travel Alberta.
3. Ones to Watch
Ello: The jury’s still out on this social network built by artists and designers as the “anti-Facebook”. The platform began as a private network that has recently become invitation only. And it’s one that promises to be ad-free forever – or at least until it’s sold.
Secret: The secret’s out – only nobody knows it’s yours. Secret is a platform that allows users to anonymously share random thoughts and feelings. You can read them, love them, talk about them… but never know just exactly whose secrets they are.
Shots: Shots is a selfie-lovers paradise. The social network, which was created as a way for teens to express themselves positively without subjecting themselves to potentially negative comments, allows users to snap and share selfies privately.
Medium: Founded by Blogger and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams This is a social network that provides marketers and professionals with a creative outlet that is completely unrelated to their blog. It’s an uncomplicated, aesthetically pleasing space to read and publish content.
Tsu: Unlike other social media networks which profit from user-generated content, Tsu (which saw one million users in just five weeks) is the first social media network that actually pays you for posting content. The company only receives 10% of its ad revenue, giving the remaining 90% to its users. The more you post, the more you make.
4. Google+ Gone
It seems as though the end may finally be in sight for the social network that no one really knew what to do with in the first place (even one of its designers recently admitted he’s not too sure why Google Plus exists). The end of the Google Authorship program and forced Google Plus account integration for Gmail users are two hints that the platform itself may be next up on the chopping block.
5. Social Media = Social Buying
Twitter is currently testing a new feature called Twitter Offers, a card-linked service that allows advertisers to create and share promotions directly with Twitter users who then have the option of redeeming the offer in person, thus eliminating the need for coupons and promotional codes. The offer is attached to the user’s credit or debit card on file. Twitter Offers was launched for Black Friday and is currently being tested throughout the holiday season by select US brands.