Social Media Check-up

Back in January, Forbes along with many other companies put out lists of their predictions for the year; specifically what they thought 2017 would bring for social media usage.

It is now June, so how spot on were their predictions. Let’s take a look at the list.

1. Social Messaging:

Forbes predicted that messaging would continue to grow; especially since it is millennials preferred way of communication. Applications like WeChat and WhatsApp have more users than Facebook or Twitter. In April of 2016, WeChat hit a record 700 million users a month. In a year’s time, that number has grown to over 938 million users. It has also been reported that users spend an average of 90 minutes a day on just the WeChat app. This growth and interaction show just how integral social messaging continues to be.

Prediction: Spot on.

2. The Fight Against Fake News:

This is one prediction I’m sure most people saw coming. The early days of this year, coupled with a heated battle for the US presidency, came many false or exaggerated headlines. Forbes predicted that there would be a battle waged on fake news for the sake that more and more people are turning to the internet and social media as a news source.

Since the publication of this article, Facebook has continued to push standards for the news published on its site. More importantly, Facebook has attempted to improve the media literacy of its users. One way they have done this is to outline how to distinguish between real and fake news; giving users a handbook of sorts directly on their Facebook feed. They have also deployed methods of informing users they may be sharing fake news.

Prediction: Spot on.

3. Authentic Content:

Forbes predicted that more and more social media sites would allow for the creation of authentic content. For example, through the development of live streaming and other video features.

Just as predicted, Live streaming and the technology behind it continues to see upgrades and changes. In December, Twitter adapted to allow the use of its live stream feature directly in its main app after downloads of its Periscope app fell. In March, Twitter announced a new API where people can connect professional equipment to their site’s live stream feature. Another new project was announced in May, 24/7 live streaming of news and tv on Twitter.

Prediction: Spot on.

4. Augmented Reality:

Augmented reality was seen as sensationalized in 2016. Forbes stated that other social media sites were not expected to jump on the bandwagon in 2017; however, several sites were in the testing phases of AR features. Right now, six months into 2017,  Augmented reality continues to be in the development phases. Companies are still trying to figure out how to make the technology integral for everyday users and easy to use on top of that. Yes, we have seen the rise of AR filters, but the use of AR beyond basic layering has not been seen.

On the other hand, 2017 has seen lots of money go into the development of the technology. Companies like Snapchat are hiring developers dedicated to augmented reality technology. Apple is working on several projects including, “digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer”.

Prediction: People are still interested, but not trending. In development still.


5. Chatbots:

We talked about messaging and how it has seen growth in the first six months of the year. That growth has also given rise to the use of Chatbots. They are bots designed to communicate with consumers via messaging platforms in place of a human. This technology allowing for people/consumers to communicate with a company and get some form of immediate feedback on their schedule.

So far 2017 has seen great developments in the technology behind chatbots. Facebook is spending a lot of time developing an API that allows chatbots to negotiate with users. These developments are leading to a form of artificial intelligence and to more developments to automate interactions with consumers.

Prediction: Spot on.






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