Social media trends are constantly changing and can come and go in a blink of an eye. As 2017 comes to a close, it is important to look back and see which ones dominated, and which ones fell behind. Below are some of the biggest trends that rocked the social media world in the past year.
This past June, Snapchat released a new feature that took stalking to a whole new level, Snap Map. This feature allows users to see their friends’ exact location whenever they open their app. The purpose of is to make it easier than ever before to connect and meet up with your friends. For those who may find this feature a little intrusive on their privacy, they can chose to go on “ghost mode” which hides your location indefinitely
until switched back on.
One of my favorite parts of this trend is how Snapchat can guess your actions based on your location using your Bitmoji, a personalized avatar. At the mall? Your Bitmoji is hauling several bags over her shoulder. Waiting to catch a flight at the airport? Your Bitmoji is sitting leaned up against a suitcase. At a beach? Your Bitmoji is building a sandcastle.
This feature is a great way to brag to your friends when you are on a cool vacation across the world, but it can be not so great when you tell your friends you’re already on your way to meet them for lunch and still haven’t left the house.
Although Facebook Live was introduced to Facebook in 2016, this trend really took off in the past 12 months. This new feature on Facebook allows any user to live stream video footage to all of their followers and friends. The live stream can last for up to 30 minutes, and stays on the users timeline after the stream has ended. The feature allows the user to see all of the viewers who are currently watching, and there is even a live comment function as well. Facebook Live also alerts all of your followers that you are live streaming.
This is a major advantage because it significantly increases user engagement and can benefit people who might live stream daily, or someone who has an announcement to make. I am the kind of person on social media who will re-read a post 35 times, or stare at a picture for 15 minutes before I click the “post” button. When I first heard about this feature, I thought it was somewhat strange and convinced myself I would never take part in it.
Sharing something on social media that could not be reviewed or edited did not appeal to me until I started seeing my friends streaming and I realized it was actually a really different and fun way to interact. This feature helps us all “live in the present” and we all could use a little more of that.
Another tech savvy trend that will get your head spinning, literally, is Facebook 360. This tool allows users to look at a picture from all different views. By simply moving your phone around you can view the photo as if you were there looking around yourself. To make your own 360 photo, you can either use the 360-camera feature on the Facebook app, or you can upload a photo that you have taken on your phone using the panorama camera. These photos are sure to leave you reminiscing on that beautiful beach vacation you took last month.
Facebook and Instagram Stories
Both Instagram and Facebook took a tip from Snapchat and introduced their own version of stories. These user-generated stories appear for 24 hours and are meant to encourage users to post more often. Although the concept is the same, the content people post to each platform is generally different. My friends use Snapchat Stories to post their constant activities throughout the day. Instagram and Facebook Stories are generally posted much less and are more artsy and formal. The two platforms, Facebook and Instagram (both being owned by Facebook) have since joined together on this trend. Now when users create a story on Instagram they can automatically post the same one to Facebook.
Millennials Aren’t the Only Ones Obsessing Over Social Media
When thinking of social media we often times solely associate it with the millennial generation who is quite literally glued to their phones. However, in the past year social media has seen a major increase in the amount of people from older generations taking advantage of social networks. In the past 10 years there has been a 32% increase in adults over the age of 65 using social media*, and more than 56% of adults who are online u
se more than one social media platform.** Considering my mom and I currently have a 79 day Snapchat streak, and she texts me whenever she posts on Instagram to “like” her picture, I can definitely agree with these statistics. With the older generations starting to hop on the social media train, it opens up many different opportunities for businesses to market their products towards them.
Looking back on 2017, social media platforms have introduced some exciting and fun features that have successfully engaged all kinds of users in all different age groups. From helping to cure loneliness by constantly seeing what your friends are up to, to bringing your photos to life through the 360 Facebook feature, it looks like 2018 has a lot to live up to.