Every year, technology evolves, and what was once new and trendy becomes outdated. In the past year, we have seen platforms like Vine fall, existing platforms like Snapchat become bigger than ever, and countless new methods of communication arrive onto the scene.
Although it is only one month into 2017, there are several technology trends that I believe are worth following in the new year. While the success of these platforms remains to be seen, I believe that these have the potential to be game-changers in 2017.
Anchor/audio-sharing: According to Mashable, when the app Anchor was previewed at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2016, the possibility of a new method of communication was born. According to their website, Anchor is “radio by the people, where any voice can join the conversation.” Using Anchor, you record short audio clips called “waves,” that others can like, “echo,” a function similar to Twitter’s retweet, or reply to with a wave of their own. Anchor is a fresh take on the somewhat old concept of podcasting, that I believe can be used by PR professionals in order to diversify their social media presence.
I downloaded Anchor and played with it myself, and I found the process of creating waves fun and very simple. I think this unique social media platform definitely has a lot of potential for future use. The link to my profile is available here, and is accessible through mobile devices with the Anchor app downloaded. While Anchor is the most notable audio-sharing app, in my opinion, I think that other, similar platforms may arise out of this potential trend.
Live video streaming: While this is a trend that took off in 2016, I believe that it will continue to grow into the upcoming year. With video streaming platforms like Periscope, which is integrated with Twitter, as well as social media giants like Facebook and Instagram getting involved, I think live video streaming is a tool that has many possibilities for use in the fields of advertising and public relations. Online streaming services can be used to produce content for businesses, firms, etc. that are looking for creative engagement methods. Additionally, as other platforms, or creators of new platforms, note the explosive success of live video streaming, I believe that the use of this tool will only increase in the upcoming year. According to Business Insider, 88% of ad agencies they interviewed expressed interest in using live video in the upcoming months. With numbers like that, there is no doubt that the use of live video will continue well into 2017.
Influencer marketing through social media: I have been a spectator of the online beauty/cosmetics community since 2012. Until recently, their influence has been mostly through YouTube. However, this year I have noticed an influx of beauty gurus (now often referred to as “beauty influencers”) on other social media outlets such as Instagram or Snapchat. Outside of the beauty community, celebrities, bloggers, or even just a layman with an above average amount of followers promote goods on their social media. I believe this trend will continue expanding into 2017, and it is something companies should take note of when formulating their advertising plans.
What influencer marketing offers that is unique is the sense of trust between the influencer and their followers; if there is a perceived relationship between the social media personality and those who follow them, their followers will be trusting of their recommendations and thus more likely to buy those products. Personally, if I see a favorite beauty influencer of mine recommend a makeup product, I become more likely to buy the product myself because I trust their recommendations.
From celebrities like the Kardashians, to girls I went to high school with, I see influencer marketing on my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat feeds constantly. I see this trend continuing as more people get involved with influencer marketing, companies realize its benefits, and as new platforms emerge for influencers to use.
Images from stocksnap.io