At the start of the new year it’s customary for self proclaimed “experts” to stare in to their tea leaves and predict what’s going to happen in their field of expertise. Not being one to miss out on a tradition, or jump on a bandwagon, I thought it was about time I started doing some future gazing myself. So here are my top five predictions for what’s going the happen in the world of social media in the year of our sky pig 2015.
1 – Brands will continue to shamelessly high-jack online trends
From the Build a Bear company getting all patriotic on 9/11 to Di Giorno Pizza jumping in on a domestic abuse awareness hashtag to advertise their cheesy goods (no, seriously – this happened). In 2014 brands set new lows while trying to “join the conversation” and this isn’t going to change in 2015.
In an effort to try and look edgy, cool and totally in touch with Millennials, expect to see even more desperate attempts from big brands to stay hashtag on trend. And with 2015 being a General Election year it won’t just be big brands getting face palms. All the major political parties will have at least one massive social media screw up to apologise for. See you in the Social Media Fails section.
2 – Brands will focus on low quality video production
The quality of video streaming services has increased as the cost of production equipment has fallen. This has lead to even small brands and companies being able to put together some decent looking, professional online video.
However, in 2015 all that tech is going to be wasted as marketing campaigns both big and small throw professionalism out the window in the name of “authenticity”.
Having noticed v-loggers get millions of views by keeping it real and using a shitty webcam and built in mic on their Lenovo laptop, brands will follow suit and start producing entire advertising campaigns using only an old camera phone, a copy of Windows Movie Maker and Comic Sans Serif titles.
3 – Facebook will provide a proper video search
In 2014, thanks to autoplay on the timeline and an algorithm tweak, video became king on Facebook. Some research even showed everyone’s favourite privacy stealing data-mine overtook YouTube for desktop video views.
To capitalise on this change in moving picture preferences for 2015, Facebook will (again) steal an idea from a competitor and provide users a decent way to search for public video content on the network.
Sure it won’t trump video results showing up on Google, but it will help Zuckerburg et al keep the public distracted long enough to harvest more user data to sell to advertisers.
4 – Twitter will allow video uploads
With a load of shareholders to keep happy, Twitter won’t want to be left behind in the online video revolution.
Having killed off TwitPic by allowing direct picture uploads, provided Instagram style filters for users uploading images, and allowing animated gifs in the feed, they’ll now want to activate moving pictures with noises.
This will happen by either directly integrating Vine in to the Twitter app and boosting video length, or by letting you upload videos the same way Facebook does. Either way, expect brands to be the first to publicly fail at this new feature (see prediction 1)
5 – It will finally be “The Year of Google+”
Having sat on the sidelines of social media since 2011, Google’s attempt at a meaningful social network will start to shine in 2015. How will this happen? Because Google will buy the success.
With their massive amount of money, Google will do an AOL and buy something huge and incorporate it in to Google+. It’ll either be Twitter or a huge government contract to run the national insurance database. Either way, they’re getting you on the damn network whether you like it or not – and you WILL become an “active user”.
And if that doesn’t happen, it definitely will next year, or maybe the year after that.
So those are my five predictions for what will happen in social in 2015. Think I’m right? Think I’m wrong? Let me know either way in the comments below or feel free to throw in your predictions too.