5 Social Media Expert Predictions: What You'll Need To Know In 2019
Updated: Sep 18
If one thing is constant it’s that social media is always changing. Algorithms define the future of content distribution and once current trends are invested in, the landscape shifts again.
As we go into 2019, many important areas within social media will be addressed: privacy, technological advancements with AI and messaging bots, mental health, political usage, and much more.
Here are five predictions from experts including YouTube stars and Gen Z experts about where the future of social media will take us in 2019.
Nano-Influencers Win Brands Over
I predict that there will be a rise in brands using nano-influencers; typically those with less than 10K followers. Brands are starting to realize that lots of followers do not necessarily equate to high levels of engagement. Nano-influencers are often more authentic than those with lots of followers, causing their followers to be more engaged. I have a handful of friends who work as college ambassadors or brand reps for companies and receive free items and often payment in exchange for posts featuring the products. This allows brands to get the word out about their product or service without spending as much money as they would on a typical “influencer.” Nano-influencers are more likely to accept these deals because they are typically not used to getting brand deals or free items, so it is a win-win for both parties.
Social Media Will Meet Technological Advancement
As technology continues to develop beyond our wildest imagination, companies will need to be clever in how they visualize their message on social. How do we visualize and communicate about hybrid clouds, quantum computing, neuro-networks, machine learning, IoT security or the tokenization of everything? We will need our creative, visual language to evolve so we can educate people about what’s happening in the space. This is essential for companies looking to meet the global content demand for social and other platforms.
Rise In Private Accounts For Gen Z
After documenting Gen-Z teenagers for the Instagram-centric documentary, Social Animals, it's been eye-opening to understand their social media use. From a young age, their relationship with social media is already understood as the "commodification of self.” Dating, fame, and making money are the end game for most of these kids. On the flipside, they've seen classmates get in trouble at school and friends fired at work due to a post. Their relationship with social media and privacy surrounding content permeates into their mental health. With this, Gen-Z will protect "personal life" through messaging apps -- whether through Finsta accounts (fake and private Instagram accounts for their friends), and apps like Marco Polo. They want to feel safe in the content that they’re creating.
Stories Will Continue To Grow
The popularity in the 'Stories' format of ephemeral content disappearing within 24 hours on social media platforms will continue to grow . This is evidenced by Mark Zuckerberg who recently stated Facebook expects News Feed usage to decline, and that he's instructed his teams to focus on building new features and ad products for the format in 2019. The question is whether the popularity of Stories is driven by a genuine interest in and demand for them, or more Facebook's force-feeding them to users across all its platforms in an effort to maintain ad revenue growth in 2019.
Segmented Social Media Video Goes Mainstream
Social media video is the future of education, collaboration, and real-time engagement, whether it is for purchase or support . It will be the closest thing to what we do in real life, but with the constraints of your physical location removed. The social media platforms know if they get social video right, whether it is 1: Few or 1: Many -- they will win the future generations forever in the same way TV won over our parents.
With unprecedented targeting via the social media platforms, it is essential brands and media companies not take a one size fits all approach with their social video strategy. The importance of relevance and knowing who you're trying to reach with what video content at what time on which social media platform will become more than personalization of content, it will be hyper-personalization of content.
How These Predictions Help You
With these predictions in place, time will only tell what comes to fruition. By understanding the trends and technology of social media, you’ll be able to craft a content strategy that’ll help connect with your audience and community.