As the world becomes more reliant on social media and as digital marketers concentrate most of their SEO efforts on social media marketing, one question remains unanswered. Where is social media heading, or better still what is the future of social media? Social media is not what it used to be – it has changed drastically in the last decade, and as the world continues to witness the rise and fall of advanced technologies, we can only expect the continuous evolution of social media.
In recent times, we have seen social media magnets like Facebook make strides to prepare their platform for imminent changes. As most of our lives are now intertwined with our social media accounts, we’ll have to do the same as well. Whether you are a digital marketer, an influencer, an app developer, or a business owner, knowing where social media is heading will help you stay ahead of the trends. But then again, you can’t possibly fathom the future unless you have figured out the past. So let’s see where we’ve been and where we are now to figure out what the future may hold for us.
Social Media’s Past
The main era of social media is only a few decades old. The first email was sent in 1971. By 1979, Usenet was created. Relay chat was introduced in 1988. In 1997, a social media site similar to the early Facebook, called Six Degrees, was launched. The golden era of social media occurred in 2000-2004 when MySpace was popular. By 2005, Facebook, Skype, and YouTube were at the top of their game. Twitter soon followed in 2006, with Pinterest and Instagram launched in 2010. The following year, Snapchat made its debut. Things have been evolving ever since across all social media platforms.
Social Media Today
As it appears, more than 88% of 18 to 29-year-olds across the globe have a presence on at least one social media platform. This number increases exponentially in the U.S., where most people rely on a social media platform for their day-to-day conversations with family and friends. Presently, over 78% of US citizens aged 30 to 49 have a presence on one social media platform or another.
All things considered, YouTube and Facebook seem to be the most visited social media platforms in the world, with millions of users across each continent. These social media platforms are used by people of all ages, and they visit the platform every day. Looking at today’s statistics of users’ interactions with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube, it is clear that our need for social media communication is becoming insatiable.
So how are these people using social media?
These days, video content has become the front and center of most social media activities, especially since Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram rolled out their ephemeral video stories. Many digital marketers have come out to say that video content has greater returns on investment than any other social media content.
Users spend significant amounts of time glued to their phone screens watching video content like interviews, testimonials, behind-the-scenes content, and tutorials. And don’t forget cat videos! Entertainment video content has the highest viewership of all. This creates a window of opportunity for forward-thinking entrepreneurs who know how to optimize audiovisuals to generate traffic and make a sale. Besides the tremendous success rates that we are seeing in video content marketing, shows the future of social media is already be defined.
Social Media in the Future
All things considered, social media is heading towards a more user-focused platform with ephemeral storytelling content taking the front seat. Also, you should expect a stronger and more versatile influencer marketing on social media. Video content will continue to expand, and artificial intelligence (AI) and voice commands may also have some impact in the social media realm in years to come.