Instagram stories surpassed Snapchat, Facebook introduced an image-recognition based search and Twitter expanded its character limit to 280. A lot happened in 2017! As 2018 is approaching fast we began to impatiently look at what’s next in store. We distinguished 4 major trends.

 

  1. Video for the win

 
Over the last years everyone has learned to ‘speak video’ fluently. This year the Internet video traffic generates 69% of all global consumer traffic. By 2020, it will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Not surprisingly, video also dominates the social media landscape.

 

80% of global internet traffic will be attributed to video by 2020 90% of content shared by users on SNS is video 87% of marketers use video in their campaigns 95% of message will be retained by viewer while only 10% with text

*Social Media Today

As Facebook Creative Strategist Kat Hahn said at Social Media Week London: “Not doing short video is not an option (anymore).” For 2018 you should use storytelling, lay out a clear objective, make it mobile-friendly and have the message appear in the first 3 seconds.

 

  1. Virtual FOMO

 

Ephemeral content, aka stories on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Whatsapp Status, is widely popular. On the 1st of November Mark Zuckerberg announced that 300 million people are using stories, that’s more than half of Instagram’s 500 million daily active users.

 

Why so popular? As stories are more authentic and disappear forever after 24 hours, people want to act now. If they don’t, they’ll miss out, generating a virtual FOMO. And that’s why stories will be the best way the engage your audience in 2018.

Socialreport.com

 

Case in point: ‘Buy a lady a drink’, the social-first 360 campaign by National Geographic and Stella Artois on World Water Day (March 22nd). What a success story: Instagram stories, Snapchat takeovers and social posts throughout the initiative provided 54 million social impressions (and saw 1.75 million likes)!

Click here to watch the story.

National Geographic

 

  1. AI and Image recognition change the game

 

Online search used to be a text-driven technology, even when searching through images. Today social media sites have begun experimenting with image recognition and will continue to do so in 2018.

 

Facebook created Lumos, an AI for image and video understanding. Lumos searches photos by specific objects within a photo. This means that it’s now possible to get faster and more accurate results when you’re looking for your vacation selfies, baby pictures or party snaps.

 

HomeHero is a fun example of how brands implement image recognition. The UK energy-switching tool helps you save money on your energy bill. How does it work? Snap a picture of something that uses energy, like a fridge, send it to HomeHero via Messenger and receive a PM mentioning how much you can save by using it smarter.

Youtube

 

By 2018 Instagram is also expected to upgrade its Explore function by incorporating an image-based search option. You’ll be able to look for content that you can’t identify via text or hashtag search alone.

 

  1. It’s happening with the Chatbot

 

A chatbot is designed to carry out conversations to help, educate or entertain you with near-human intelligence. According to Gartner by 2018 30% of business content will be machine-generated. Chatbots are interesting as they never ‘sleep’ and respond based on cues. This will make customer service faster.

Take Domino’s Pizza for instance. You’re chatting in Facebook Messenger with your girlfriend about having a pizza for dinner tonight. No need for a phone call, or to go to another website. You can directly order your pizza in Messenger. Also available in Slack. Handy, no?

 

ChatShopper could revolutionise online shopping. Certainly for those who are missing the fashion advice retailers give! The chatbot Emma is a personal shopper AI that will help you find the right products 24/7.

Chatshopper

 

These 4 predictions are only the tip of the iceberg. With the big promises of different social actors like Google’s launch of its mobile-first algorithm, it’s sure going to be an interesting year!

Joëlle Verstraeten
Community Manager