2018 was a year of social media platforms listening more to their potential advertisers than to their user base. Tumblr banned NSFW content, YouTube produced the most disliked YouTube video, and Facebook had a bajillion scandals (more like a little over 20 but who’s counting).
In the trend list below, I would have included AI, but that has been a prominent focus for years and it’s hard to tell where it’s going this year. One thing is for sure though, and that is that automated social media marketers can ruin a reputation in a heartbeat. (Remember in 2014 when the New England Patriots Twitter account auto-retweeted from a racist account?) They’re just not ready yet.
Here are 7 social media trends for 2019:
1: Rebuilding User Confidence
Consumer confidence in 2018 fell drastically as users left platforms like Facebook and Tumblr. Social media platforms will expectedly try harder to gain consumer trust with safer policies and practices. Transparency will become a larger priority.
Being personable could help as big players like Mark Zuckerberg are attached to the Facebook brand in the public mind, and as a result if he seems untrustworthy, the brand will be as well.
2: Augmented Reality
Augmented reality took huge leaps in 2018 (Magic Leap anyone?) and social media has also continued to utilize it. Snapchat’s AR filters are a signature part of its brand, and Snapchat would expectedly continue to improve this area of their platform. Meanwhile, Facebook continued implementing their own AR filters to compete with Snapchat, and has it available in their Portal device. Apple may also announce their long-awaited AR glasses this year, awakening a new era of mixed reality.
3: Standing Out
Platforms will need to know themselves. Snapchat needs to know how it’s different from Instagram and needs to invest in those differences. Back in 2016, Instagram seemed to be copying every move Snapchat made, and Facebook (which owns Snapchat) is quickly trying to become the all-encompassing social media company.
Sites like YouTube have slowly stepped away from their original mission (to be a site for the average unfiltered human to upload their home videos and freely enjoy others) and put a paywall on the top players a few years back (*Cough*YouTube Red*Cough*). YouTube Rewind, which was supposed to highlight what the YouTube community enjoys, focused on advertiser-friendly non-YouTuber people instead.
To define themselves, they will have to define their user base.
4: Pleasing Advertisers
That being said, social media companies will still need to continue finding ways of pleasing the item that gives them a paycheck. How they will accomplish this balancing act will be a question for 2019.
It’s been news for over a year now that Facebook is looking at ways to unlock your account on biometrics such as your face ID. Trends like this will be expected to continue not just into this year but for years following.
Internet accounts in general will continue to find ways of unlocking your information by using…you. Saying goodbye to constant password resetting and PW post it notes.
7: The New Resume
LinkedIn was founded on December 28, 2002. It’s essentially a social media site for your business life. Your page is like your resume. The status updates include career tips and coworker notices.
It’s been increasingly critical to market yourself online. Justin Bieber started on YouTube. Many applications now will actually require a LinkedIn URL to your page. Employers will turn to your social media to gain an idea of who you are and what you stand for. As a reminder of how your online presence can reveal who you are, various people who participated in the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 were appropriately fired from their position when their faces were posted online.