The future of Social Media in 2014 is on your mobile
2013 was the year that Facebook continued it's dominance, Twitter went public and Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and Snapchat grew in stature. Linked In also enjoyed a huge year with more people connecting than ever, taking every opportunity to meet new people in their selected field and Google+ increased its users, despite not winning everybody over just yet. In 2013, we saw phenomenal changes in the way businesses used social media, this was largely due to the factors like the increase in mobile and video usage. With 2013 now in the book, it is time to look ahead to what lies ahead of us in 2014 and how the shift from desktop to mobile is already happening, right before our eyes.
Visual Content is King
In 2013 we’ve seen a huge growth in visual platforms; Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Buzzfeed and especially Pinterest have all gained millions of followers. Facebook and Twitter have followed on from this, making their visuals larger and more visible. We expect this trend is set to get bigger in 2014, with brands prioritising visual content and visual platforms. Those who don't, are missing out on a lot of interaction on all forms of social networks.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!
In America, people are now spending more time online, than they are watching TV and more than half of the time spent online was mobile. Facebook and Twitter have become a second-screen viewing experience while watching TV, in the case of YouTube, it is slowly becoming a TV alternative. Come the end of 2014, we may be looking at mobile take over where people use mobiles more than a desktop. Its happening already, you only have to look at the youngster of the world today who have mastered the incredible technique of looking face down towards their phone while walking along the high street, and not looking where they are going.
This is where a mobile strategy comes in and a mobile friendly website might not be enough. Businesses will need to ensure their website is accessible via mobile with responsive design, mobile-version or app. They will also have to consider how their content strategy works with mobile: companies will have to offer short, engaging and actionable content to mobile-users, determining when their target market is using their mobiles and how they are accessing their content.
In 2013, mobile only apps Snapchat and Instagram became major players. Instagram was the fast growing network with over 150 million users, with 40 million photos being uploaded each day. Over 70% of the top brands are now on Instagram and the interaction levels of likes and comments jumped by 350 percent since 2012. Snapchat is the 9th most popular iPhone app in terms of usage and has been as high as 4th in the free iPhone app charts on iTunes. Another remarkable stat is under 20% of iPhone users use the Snapchat app, meaning it can only get bigger in 2014. With the new story feature, stories are now available for 24 hours, this could become a unique way for companies to reach an audience for a short time only without going over the top with advertisement online. The rise of Snapchat is only just beginning, last year saw Snapchat turn down a 3billion dollar offer from the social media giants Facebook. The future of social media advertising, could well be media that disappears after ten seconds or after twenty four hours. If the content sent out is engaging enough, like a TV advert, those ten seconds could be the highlight of your day.