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10 Social-Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018


In the past year, a number of significant stories involved social media: Facebook lured Snapchat users to Instagram, the president of the United States communicated official policy positions in 140 characters and Apple announced plans to alter the way we interact with our mobile devices.

Next year, social media is poised to create even more disruption as a number of new technological advancements go mainstream, and as social norms related to social media change. Here are the top 10 social media trends to prepare for as 2018 draws near.

1. Rise of augmented reality.

At the first-ever event hosted in the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple announced the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. Both devices incorporate a new chip that allows the phones to provide users with extraordinary augmented reality experiences. While augmented reality will have its initial impact on mobile gaming, it is likely that social media platforms will find ways to incorporate the new technology as well.

For example, it’s conceivable that Snapchat or Instagram will soon support filters that allow users to take a selfie with a friend or celebrity projected via augmented reality. Similarly, brands could soon project their products into the homes of social media users through special filters.

Related: Expecting Revolutionary Innovation From Apple’s Reveal Event? You’re Missing the Point.

2. Increasing popularity of Instagram Stories.

Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat — and Instagram Stories is just one year old! At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018. This means that brands interested in connecting with Instagram users must take the time to master Instagram Stories.

Related: The Low-Down On Using Instagram Stories For Your Business

3. Continued investment in influencer marketing.

Over 90 percent of marketers who employ an influencer marketing strategy believe it is successful. Companies like North Face, Hubspot and Rolex use social media–based influencer marketing strategies to connect with new audiences and improve engagement with existing audiences.

This year we saw that brands that opted for traditional advertising strategies struggled to connect to social media users. Next year, it is likely that more brands will embrace influencer marketing as a way to connect with audiences who tend to ignore traditional strategies.

Related: Why Brands Big and Small Continue to Fail at Influencer Marketing

4. Focus on Generation Z.

A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that Generation Z was more valuable to most organizations than millennials. Today, the oldest Gen Zers are 22 years old. They are just beginning to enter the labor force, and will have increased buying power for some time.

Brands will begin to recognize this, and will shift their social media strategies accordingly. Expect great investment in platforms loved by Gen Zers like Snapchat and Instagram.

Related: 4 Marketing Tactics for Appealing to Generation Z

5. Increasing brand participation in messaging platforms.

Over 2.5 billion people use messaging platforms globally, and yet brands are still primarily focused on connecting with consumers on pure social networks. In 2018, expect brands to invest more time and money in connecting with consumers on messaging platforms. Artificial intelligence, voice assistants and chatbots will enable brands to offer personalized shopping experiences on messaging platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp and Kik.

Related: The Future Of Native Advertising for Brands and Publishers

6. Expansion of live streaming.

What was once a novel gimmick has become a mainstream part of social media. Today, brands big and small have started using live streaming to capture the attention of followers.

GORUCK, a backpack manufacturer and the organizer of extreme endurance events, is one example of a medium-sized brand that has grown its reach by live streaming compelling content on Facebook. Thousands of followers tuned in to watch 48-hour coverage of a recent endurance race.

In 2018, more brands will begin to realize the power of live streaming, and will incorporate it into their monthly content plans.

Related: 12 Live Streaming Video Tips to Build Your Brand and Business

7. Rethinking Twitter.

Twitter has failed to grow followers significantly in 2017. In fact, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram all have more social media followers. This year, Twitter also lost access to streaming NFL games (Amazon won the rights). In 2018, it is likely that Twitter leadership will aim to rethink how the platform operates.

Possible changes to Twitter include selling the company to private investors, changing the platform to include some subscription element and/or revamping Twitter advertising options, which have fallen behind other platforms.

Related: 15 Tips to Grow a Social-Media Audience for Your Startup

8. Digital hangouts go mainstream.

Houseparty is a video hangout platform used by over one million people each day. It is primarily used by Gen Zers as a way to hang out with friends digitally. The platform is so successful that Facebook is reportedly investigating ways to create a similar functionality within their platform.

We have already seen video become increasingly important on social media, and live video group hangouts are a natural next iteration of this trend. It is conceivable that in 2018, Facebook will announce a similar product to Houseparty that will win over users, just as Instagram’s introduction of Stories did.

Related: 4 Steps to Give Your Business a Digital Presence Overhaul

9. Facebook Spaces goes mainstream.

Facebook isn’t just interested in live video streaming; they’ve been working on a project called Spaces that is designed to allow friends to connect in VR. Given that Facebook owns Oculus, a virtual reality hardware and software company, it is no surprise that the social media giant is developing a platform to make use of this new technology.

Facebook is poised to scale Spaces in 2018. When they do, it is likely that it will be the first successful VR social media product at scale.

Related: 3 Ways Facebook Spaces Could Revolutionize the Business World

10. Social platforms embrace stronger governance policies.

After a series of controversial decisions during the 2016 presidential election, social media platforms have embraced a more hands-on approach to governing conduct on their platforms. Facebook recently turned over thousands of ads that seem to be connected to Russian meddling, and has invested in new AI and human forms of monitoring.

Given the wide criticism that Facebook and Twitter received during 2017, it is likely that these platforms will embrace codes of conduct and governance policies that protect the brands from future criticism.

Related: Facebook Is Testing Fake News Filtering Overseas

Conclusion

A number of new social media trends that will impact users and brands alike are strengthening and accelerating. It is likely that video streaming and virtual reality will go mainstream. Additionally, brands will turn to newer social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat as Gen Zers increasingly spend their time there.

With the announcement of the new iPhones, augmented reality has a chance to become a part of social media in ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago. Lastly, Twitter and Facebook will most likely adjust their policies to protect their brands from political criticism and to provide users with better online experiences.



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Celebrities prepare to show off their high fashion on Oscars’ red carpet , Entertainment News & Top Stories


LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – While the Academy Awards recognises the best in film, fashion insiders will have their eye on the red carpet looking for the best dressed stars of the night. 

Celebrity stylist Sam Saboura is hoping nominee Emma Stone will have a standout moment. 

“She always does something cutting edge, something unique, something outside of the box. But for me this season so far, I’m kind of like lukewarm. You know, I loved her Valentino look with the stars, I liked the McQueen look that she wore at the SAG Awards. But I really need her to knock it out of the park at this year’s Oscars.” 

Red carpet style is also maternity style for Natalie Portman, who is expecting her second child any day now. 

“I think it’s a great homage to women who are carrying a child to see how you can be fashionable, colourful, even take risks like she did in that beautiful white Dior dress.” 

Best supporting actress nominee Viola Davis has been having fun with color. 

“For a woman of a certain age she always shines on the carpet and she really owns her look. She’s a strong woman and her looks are always strong, fashion forward and gorgeous.” 

He said red carpet veteran Nicole Kidman has been catching a lot flack with her choices recently, but he feels her risks have paid off. 

“That McQueen dress that she wore that was metallic and very, very dramatic and embellished got her noticed for the wrong reasons. When she wore that Gucci dress with the parrots on the shoulders – I happened to be a big fan, that was serious fashion, she took a risk that I think worked very beautifully,” said Saboura, who thinks she’ll play it safe at the Oscars. 

Celebrities aren’t the only ones with access to borrow dresses. Armarium allows users to select from luxury looks from high-end designers like Marchesa, Armani Prive and Vera Wang. 

“There are so many gorgeous rental places, but this has actually got things that are straight off the runway that you can grab, throw on and wear out to these amazing events. One of the things that is also so brilliant is that if you don’t have a stylist, like myself, everything is beautifully curated in here,” said celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson, who is dressing seven clients on Oscar Sunday. 

Patrickson predicted the red carpet will be lively with a variety of trends. “I think we’ll see a lot of metallics, I think we’ll see a lot of reds, I usually feel like that has a moment. Often whites, but then again with the rain people might shy away from that.” 

No matter the choices celebrity make for the red carpet, Patrickson said the main goal should always be joy. 

“If you want to push the envelope a little bit that’s great too and I just think it’s all subjective. And if you’re not enjoying yourself there is no point.” 

The fashion fun will take place as the stars hit the red carpet at the Oscars on Feb 26.



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