2015 was a great year for social media. Facebook grew its user count to over 1.3 billion, Twitter introduced advertising for all users, Instagram hit 400m users, Pinterest introduced Promoted Pins and YouTube became the number one video source for the 18-49 year old demographic, overtaking every cable network.

What does 2016 have to offer? Let’s take a look at what’s trending in social media for 2016.

The Stats

Facebook has generated 4 billion video views daily, from 1.49 billion monthly active users with more than 1.31 billion users on their mobile devices. YouTube has 1 billion active users and Instagram’s ad programme has gone global. Live streaming is picking up pace, with Meerkat and Periscope taking front and centre stage.

Social Media is not just an option – it is a proven, viable way to generate traffic for any kind of business and increasing awareness. So, what trends should you expect?


eCommerce Buy Buttons

The “buy” and “shop now” buttons have been introduced on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social Commerce has been a term I have used for the last 4 years and I am happy to see it being recognised. It is now easier for businesses to advertise their products/services and this is going to be one major trend as we make our way through 2016.


Social Blogging

It is one thing to use your website to post your latest article, then share this across your social networks. This can now be extended further with the likes of LinkedIn’s long-form posts, and Facebook’s full-length articles. These load 10 times faster, and generate more interaction than a standard post would.

Keep an eye out for Twitter’s Project Lightening, as they will soon bring to market their version of social blogging.


Real-Time Virtual Reality

Social Media has always been known for delivering almost real-time updates. 2016 will be the year that real-time makes its mark as live streaming and in the moment updates will dominate the social world. Don’t forget; Twitter has just brought Periscope.

Virtual Reality is also expected to finally go mainstream this year with sophisticated visual marketing technologies and development.


Social Search

For so many years, Google and YouTube have dominated search but things are about to change. 80% of customers are turning to social media to ask for advice on a product, or service. Social search is growing more and more popular with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram making their search functionality even more powerful.


These are just a few trends to expect in 2016. Also look out for smart social media users utilising the online space, more engagement through in-app functionality, video marketing and security concerns.

To see the full infographic, click here.

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