2016 was a huge year for social media. There were changes in almost every social media platform as each tried to grow and compete with others to influence the industry the most.
In 2016 we saw the demise of some apps, expansion of others, and some interesting trends that we’ll continue to follow into 2017. Here are some of the most influential trends, changes, and moments from social media in 2016.
The Biggest Influences on Social Media in 2016
In August 2016, Instagram introduced their Stories feature. Similar to Snapchat’s function, Instagram stories allow users to upload a photo or video that will be visible to all their followers (and the public) for a period of time. Stories are featured at the top of the app for easy access.
Why it was important: With this move, Instagram is shifting more so to live, accessible content than simply snapshots of peoples’ lives. Brands can make use of these Stories to ensure their followers see their content, instead of just hoping they scroll past it on their feed.
October of 2016 saw the beginning of end of Vine when it was purchased by Twitter. While the website is still online to download and access Vines, users can no longer upload new videos. While the app’s viewership had been declining, many people were shocked at the speed with which it was shut down by Twitter. 2016 saw the fall of one of the biggest social media platforms of the past few years with Vine.
Why it was important: The purchase and closing down of Vine by Twitter shows that the social media landscape was definitely changing in 2016. Despite Vine’s previous popularity, it was declining quickly and lead to its rapid shut-down. It also foreshadows Twitter’s move into live video, which they have already started trying to capitalize on. That brings us to our next point…
In April 2016, Facebook jumped into the live video game with Facebook Live. Apps like Periscope and Meerkat had made live video more popular for sharing moments with followers instantly. By incorporating live video into the largest social media platform in the world, millions of people and brands now have instant access to their followers and have a new way to connect.
Why it was important: Live video exploded in 2016. It is a great way for both individuals and brands to interact with audiences in real time and find out what they want to hear about, what their opinions are, and importantly, what they want to purchase.
Facebook users had been asking for a ‘Dislike’ button for years. Facebook went above and beyond and instead introduced the emoji reactions – Like, Love, Laugh, Tears, and Angry. These reactions add a different dimension to Facebook and allow users to better express themselves.
Why it was important: These reactions make it easier to gauge how your audience feels about your posts without needing to leave a comment. If you post something that gets a lot of ‘Angry’ reactions, you know you’ve struck a nerve with your audience. Lots of ‘Loves’ or ‘Laughs’, and you know you did something right.
You won’t believe the last one…
Clickbait has gone from something used by quiz websites and countdown lists to something used by news outlets regularly to disseminate articles. Everything from political news, to cooking videos, to satirical articles seems to use a clickbait title these days.
Why it was important: The increase in misleading article titles and clickbait in general lead to a lot of complaints by social media users. This prompted Facebook to alter its algorithm so that titles with phrases commonly used in misleading clickbait would be less likely to appear on newsfeeds. This then changed how news sources had to write their articles to ensure they’d be viewed on Facebook. Clarity once again became a focus as to not mislead users.
What social media trends in 2016 do you think dominated? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!