4 Predictions for Social Media in 2016

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By Casey Danton

By 2016, social media users are expected to cap two billion users. While some networks are blooming in this social revolution, others may not make it to see New Year’s Day. Trends come and go, but you’ll want to keep your eye on these social media predictions for next year.

Comprehensive Profiles

Social media users are deterred by lack of profile-completeness. Twitter users who lack a profile picture, location and bio are less likely to grow and more likely to lose followers. As it becomes easier for different social profiles to pull information with the click of a button through Facebook profiles, we will probably see a more engaging and targeted onboarding process as users and brands complete profiles.

This will have a huge effect on ads, making them more targeted and focused on individuals. Today’s Facebook ads can already target someone based on age, likes, location, sex and myriad other profile details. As profiles become more enhanced and offer more options for completeness, making relevant ads and targeting a product's sweet spot will become even easier.

Mobile Optimization

Consumers are continuing to shift away from PCs and make purchases via mobile. Optimizing ads and content for mobile will become a distinctive feature on many social media platforms. Now that Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook have launched "Buy" buttons on their channels, other social channels are sure to follow. With the launch and success of Instagram ads in 2015, you can also expect brands to find more creative ways to urge consumers to shop till they drop from the comfort of their couches.

Wearables

"Wearables" have surged in popularity in the fitness realm, and have also hit the market for consumers. Research by Gartner reveals that 50% of interviewees prefer a smart watch over a fitness band. With smart watches now gracing the wrists of the public, it's only a matter of time until they become an integral part of accessing social media. As brands learn more about wearables' special features and limitations, wearable-specific content can be expected to reach these devices sooner rather than later.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is knocking on social media’s door. With technology such as Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift bursting onto the scene and allowing users to view settings in 360 degrees, you can bet apps and social media networks are exploring how to utilize this technology to reach followers.

Facebook introduced 360- degree ads last Thursday and has allowed sharing and viewing of such videos in the News Feed since September. But while brands such as AT&T and Nestle have launched 360-degree videos, they have thus far failed to capture consumers' attention. As 2016 progresses, we can expect to see more engaging and captivating 360-degree video content.

 

Social media is changing quickly and constantly. 2016 will bring a slew of new innovations to our phones, wrists and headsets. Is your brand prepared?