Digital Jyotish Series: Facebook and Twitter Predictions for 2017
As the end of the year is around the corner, it is the perfect time to make some predictions. And as the constantly evolving digital world continues to make dynamic shifts, it makes perfect sense to at least try to stay ahead in the game. So to keep our digital game strong and yours too, we have made some predictions for the year 2017.
Other than Elon Musk destroying Facebook’s satellite, Facebook has had a great year. It has added 197 million more monthly active users and crossed a billion mobile only MAU.
So here is what you can expect from the God of the Digital worlds – Mark Zuckerberg:
Recently, Facebook announced trial of a new camera option which would eventually take over the current status update option. It will have a Snapchat style interface, will be interactive and of course easily accessible. This feature is currently being tried out in Ireland! Damn you Ireland! But on the bright side we will get the bugless awesome-r version. This feature would work wonders as people already have an established network on their profiles. So our prediction is that Snapchat will perish if this feature is rolled out to its maximum capacity in 2017. Evan Spiegel will definitely need to adapt to it. The most exciting part in all of this is that Facebook wants to be ‘mostly video’ by 2020. So, let’s see how that globally affects social trends.
Periscope has definitely perished. The number of people broadcasting via Facebook Live has increased by 4 times in the past 6 months, and live videos are grabbing more eyeballs than any other kind of post. By next year, as the number of established broadcasters will increase, monetization of this feature will create more opportunities. Facebook is already getting major broadcasters to start using live streaming, this will definitely unseat Periscope in 2017.
And we will not be surprised if in the future people watch Live videos instead of Youtube videos. The shift can be felt just now, but it will take time.
Virtual Reality –
VRs are the talk of the town, and like every other conversation Facebook is going to get in on this one as well. But do not expect too much out of Facebook’s VR as currently the Oculus Rift costs US$599 and that’s without the Touch controllers, and Facebook is all about making its products available to the masses.
The other thing is that even though Virtual Reality is the next big thing, there is not much content to keep content mongers satisfied. So for Facebook to truly get in on this there needs to be more content curated just for the populations currently using Virtual Reality devices. We can only hope for more people to invest in Virtual Reality making it cheaper and more accessible, the biggest breakthrough would be once it reaches people’s TV screen at home. Let’s see what Facebook’s got up it’s sleeve.
Nobody talks about Facebook’s on-platform search. Zuckerberg stated in June this year that Facebook is facilitating more than 2 billion on-platform searches every day! The availability of news and other snackable media on Facebook is keeping audiences away from Google.
Facebook is going to push the envelope next year by optimizing its searches and adding better suggestions tool. The improved search tools will help Facebook index more content, expect to see them release in January.
So basically uptil now Facebook has challenged Snapchat, Periscope, Google, Youtube. Mark Zuckerberg indeed is the God of the digital world.
Messenger Business –
As you all must have noticed, Facebook messenger has become more integrated with your devices. Messenger is in Stage Two of their three tired development framework. They have 33,000 automated bots active on the platform, but sadly the consumer adoption of it has been slow.
Our prediction is that Facebook will continue to push messenger bots and will make it more interactive from the business perspective. Automation of conversations with customers will reduce labor costs. This will lead to more people adopting Facebook messenger to reach out to their audiences and eventually a massive platform to run display ads. Smaller brands will take great leverage of this improved bot creation process.
eBay and Shopify have already shaken hands on it with Facebook, and are now displaying offers via message.
Many memes cried out for the need of more ways to express emotions on Facebook. The feature was thereafter made available back in February. But the research says that not many people are reacting. In fact, 93% of all such responses on the platform are still Likes. To tackle the situation Facebook released topical reactions to celebrate 50th anniversary of Star Trek and more recently, a Halloween Set. But again these reactions were being misused on irrelevant posts.
Facebook could use reactions to advertise brands by creating a tool to personalize brand specific reactions. But this seems too far-fetched just now, as the focus is not on reactions but reactions on Live videos. We don’t see much happening on this front in 2017.
Twitter is on sale. And no one is buying it, literally and metaphorically. From deleting their founders account by mistake to having the worst customer support, the giant has faced some serious problems and none have been resolved. They better get their shit together or it can get worst for them.
Twitter by far has the worst customer support amongst all social media channels. The response time is somewhere around 100-200 hours and maybe more. Your account can get randomly locked due to usage of third party marketing tools and there is literally no way to get it back. Even Indian politicians are extremely quick to respond on Twitter, but we guess Twitter is busy Retweeting unoriginal content..
Our prediction is that it is not going to get better as they do not even realize that there is a problem here.
Live streaming is the new big thing, now that Facebook is doing it.
#WhatsNext event with COO Adam Bain where he emphasized the idea behind Twitter.
Live Streaming on twitter makes total sense as the platform is all about letting people know what’s happening right now. This is an enormous challenge for Twitter as Facebook is trying to woe the same audience. The shift from Live Tweeting to Live Streaming is going to be intense.
The thing about the thing is that getting live tweets on screen takes third party app, but the thing about this thing is that Facebook is faster at adapting and has more money.
Since content is king and both social media channels resonate with same same but different audiences, this one is tough to predict.
Now that giants like Twitter and Facebook have jumped into the already over-flowing Live Streaming lake, small fish like Periscope will perish. We don’t see “Perishscope” shutting down but it might get integrated with Twitter. It will simply needs to stop existing as a separate app. This can lead to many technical difficulties which Twitter will HAVE TO work around.
Data value –
Twitter Insights are definitely quite insightful, especially because of all the efforts Twitter has put in to take back control of their data to build value.
Twitter has an open network, the conversations, and accounts are out in the open to analyze. The problem is that most of Twitter’s revenue is based on Tweet mentions, and the money generated by third party providers bypasses Twitter itself. Just like Facebook and LinkedIn have made multi-billion dollar ad networks on their data targeting by using their protected data sets, Twitter will have to focus on the same(Twitter’s data revenue has increased 26%).
Twitter basically needs to tell businesses why their data set is valuable. There is no place better than twitter to analyze trends, showcasing this by giving deeper insights can have a profound effect on digital strategies of businesses and thus on Twitter’s revenues.
Twitter will and needs to get with the system. You can expect Twitter to launch something on this front early on in 2017. Twitter’s Vice President of Ad Development John McFarland says that it will be better than the type of 360 content you are seeing out there. This shift is crucial for Twitter as it will make Twitterati even more interesting and engaging. Trends will change and marketers will also need to get their creative juices flowing.
Let’s hope 360 videos and pictures don’t take too many characters though.
For sale? –
Will Twitter be sold? The big question that potential buyers are definitely not asking. But anyway, there has been lots of speculation about the possible leadership change. They have too many overhead costs that need to be reconsidered. They need to innovate and adapt before someone pays them their asking price.
Our prediction is that if their live streaming and 360 videos integration goes well, they can get exactly what they want from buyers. And who knows they might not even sell.
By august next year we will have a clear idea where Twitter stands. And chances are they will be sold for much lesser than what they are asking for.
Twitter being Jack Dorsey’s baby, it makes sense to assume that he is emotionally attached to the company. So it might turn out great for Twitter to have a new leader. He is also over looking multiple businesses, the lack of essentialism in his work style is making Twitter perish.
Edit Tweets –
Our prediction is that this option will never come. Because the whole fun of tweeting will go away. The inability of editing is what makes tweets re-tweetable. They might put it on a trial basis to test the markets, but it is unlikely as they have too much on the platter just now.
Additionally, trolls and on-platform bullying will also increase because of this feature. The increased hackability of twitter accounts needs to be addressed before outing in such a feature. Also, the whole fun gets spoilt if users start editing their Tweets after causing a controversy.
Having said all of that, you never know.
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