Humans are social animals!
We like to socialize and stay in touch with one another. That’s how we grow together. However, human socializing changed address with the launch of SixDegrees.com in 1997.
Such a unique invention of the 1990s exhibited the immense possibilities of social media platforms, one of them being the feasibility of interacting with users from different countries and time zones.
Bridging the physical gap between users appealed to the mass and laid down the foundation for future social media players like Facebook and Twitter.
MySpace, for instance, launched in 2003, became the go-to site for millions of hip teens. In the same year, Mark Zukerberg introduced his social networking site, Facemash. The following year, Facemash honed a different name, ”The Facebook,” and recorded its one-millionth user.
The rest is ”History!”
The Present is Bright…
The history we are all familiar with. The present looks quite bright for social media.
Believe it or not, there are approximately 103+ social media sites available on the World Wide Web, including the top key players like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and WhatsApp
And, together they serve the socializing needs of more than 55% of the global population, i.e., approximately 4.33 billion users.
That’s a spectacular figure, indeed!
The mobilization was the Key.
Their massive growth can be accorded to full-scale mobilization. Moreover, smartphones made it possible for users to stay connected constantly.
You can see a chain reaction forming here already. How?
A Giant Marketplace…
The gigantic user base has compelled brands to seriously consider social media as the ultimate medium to promote themselves.
In the US, Gen Z covers nearly 68 million of the total population. They are not using Google to make their purchase decisions anymore. Instead, they are more inclined towards searching for cool products on Facebook and Instagram.
The shift in Customer Behavior
This change in customer behavior compelled companies to shift their focus on this platform. That’sThat’s how the chain reaction follows – new startups are finding ways to make these platforms more user-friendly and less cumbersome, especially when users go hunting for solutions to their problems.
Yes! If you closely observe Facebook groups, you will understand users are not only looking for Gucci bags or Mac cosmetics. They are also asking for suggestions related to healthcare, marriage issues, travel destinations, etc.
We are sorry, but Google is no more their one-stop-destination!
And, these mediums have become one of the primary sources for brands to capture leads.
But, there are tens of millions of groups on Facebook, garnering nearly 1.8 billion active users. Scourging through each one of them to get solutions or capture leads is not easy.
The solution is…
Oh yes! The pandemic of 2020 made social distancing the New Normal and turned Social Media the only safe hangout and one-stop-shopping destination for all.
Since the active user base has manifolded in recent years, people with extra grey cells and affinity towards technology started thinking. And, the byproducts are …
Carli: This is a unique social media efficiency coordinator that saves time for brands to capture leads and helps users connect with the right service provider directly.
Vather: This amazing platform offers a video-based social gathering platform for users with similar interests to observe, inquire, engage, and enjoy a sense of belonging as a community.
Both are poles apart but serve the same purpose, i.e., to connect people with similar interests.
There are others like Carli and Vather that make the user experience on social media seamless and less cumbersome.
You can say this is just the starting point of a New Wave!
The Future Looks Brighter…
And, when we are talking about the new wave, we cannot avoid reflecting on what the future of social media will look like.
More Live Videos
This has already started.
Everyone is live streaming from their personal social media accounts. As a result, experts predict that ”consumption of visual content will radically change.” Why?
Ask yourself –
What is the average time you spend on static content?
What is the average time you spend on video content?
User behavior shows “people look at videos five times longer than static content on both Facebook and Instagram.”
This statistic shows the direction of the wind – where social media is heading. Brands should focus more on creating engaging video content to keep their audience engaged.
There’s nothing much to talk about social media stories because –
Insta and Facebook Stories are already here.
We can expect to see more of them before another amazing feature steals the show. So, moving forward –
Ad-plague Will End Soon!
That’s going to be a great relief for the users, mostly.
For brands, that can be a bit problematic.
Nevertheless, premium services will capture more user attention because they prefer adless experiences over free, ad-saturated ones.
Demand for high-quality images, videos, and audio has always been there. But, minus the ads, experts believe users might be ready to spend a few extra dollars to rid themselves of the unwanted hindrance.
Kiss Typing a Long Goodbye!
We are all tired of typing and auto-correct features of smartphones. As a result, pathbreakers are already focusing on changing the algorithm of social media to facilitate more and more voice and image-based searches.
Again, according to Experts, around 50% of all searches were carried out through image and voice in 2020.
Marketers and brands should keep these points in mind.
The pandemic of 2020 made digitalization an important part of everybody’s lives. But, that has also empowered cybercriminals to hack their way through user accounts and make money.
Customers are no more ignorant of the vices that lurk behind the digital screen. Instead, they are more concerned about how their data is being used. Such a trend can witness an abrupt rise of ”Dark Social.”
What is Dark Social?
This is not new terminology. Back in 2016, “84% of the content shared in the virtual world came from dark social.” In fact, “62% of click-backs on dark social now come from mobile devices.”
So, in simple words, dark social refers to all those web traffic that Web Analytics cannot track. Such traffic is generated through private social networks like emails and IM. When users copy the link to particular content and share the same through Telegram and WhatsApp.
Experts believe there are ways by which brands can track traffic generated through dark social.
We are not delving deeper into the matter right now!
AR and VR might get the Ultimate Chance.
These two terminologies were there for a very long time. But, social media hasn’t made optimal utilization of AR and VR technology yet.
That will change soon!
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth in these two segments. Facebook is not far behind in redefining its strategy.
The partnership with Spark AR Partner Network “enables Facebook corporate users to create ads using augmented reality camera effects and allows customers to easily interact with their products on the mobile Facebook News Feed.”
Also, you might not be aware of the fact that “Oculus VR headsets and Portal video-chatting devices generate $885 million revenue for the platform.”
This is good news for the brands!
Things are changing rapidly for social media. And, why not? Afterall, ”change is the only thing constant.”
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