The Year in Social Media
2016 was a doozy. Lots happened in the social media world. Fake news spread like wildfire on Facebook. Messaging apps grew to be more used. And live videos became popular.
Facebook took one of the biggest hits this year, when the spread of fake news became publicized. The outlet did not perpetuate the news, but had few measures in place to verify if news was fake or not. There’s no way to tell how much the fake news impacted the 2016 election but Facebook’s reputation took a big hit. Facebook downplayed the issue, until an internal task force took on an investigation.
The outlet finally reported that it would have external news organizations fact-check stories that were disputed. Now stories will be labeled, in an effort to stop the spread of false information.
Facebook also took a hit this year for miscalculating several important figures. They incorrectly totaled videos’ average watch time, organic reach, average time spent reading articles, and referrals metrics.
While live video as a feature was introduced in 2015, it really became popular in 2016. Certain companies paid celebrities and media companies to live stream and insert ads within broadcasts. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all participated in this new feature. Facebook encouraged users to live-stream to their followers, as did Twitter. YouTube took it a step further and introduced the YouTube Community.
SnapChat also underwent changes this year. They rebranded as Snap Inc., signed deals for original programming with media companies and introduced a pair of sunglasses that can record video. SnapChat also ramped up production of Live Stories, and made quality better for watching them.
LinkedIn and Twitter
Even though it seems that Facebook should have taken the brunt of 2016, Twitter and LinkedIn both suffered bad years. LinkedIn lost stock and revenue, and was eventually bought out by Microsoft. Twitter lost users, and went up for sale, but couldn’t find a buyer. Twitter sold Vine, lost top executives and dealt with internal harassment issues.
It was quite the year for social media at the end of it all. Some organizations took quite the hit in popularity. And others took hits in stock, or revenue. The battle of Instagram vs. Snapchat started, and other top dogs fell. We have predicted changes coming our way in 2017 that could change the game again. Facebook has announced that reactions will start to change the way users see content, showing users content that it thinks they want to see based on the reactions that it garners. Messenger bots are growing in popularity too. Facebook is investing bots to make using Messenger more appealing to businesses. Messenger now shows adds to help marketers and Facebook make money. Many changes to social media will take place in 2017. We say bring it on.