A Look Foward: 2019 Social Media Predictions.
It’s great practice and brain exercise to try and identify trends, and also to go back and see what factors did and did not affect the accuracy of the predictions. There are so much noise and self-interest that goes into predicting “What’s Next” that it can be a real challenge. All that being said this is my first go at something like this. With no further ado: A look forward to, my, Grant Alexander Mielke, hopeless meme connoisseur and new hedgehog owner (Her name is Uni, she’s perfect), predictions for 2019’s social media trends. On the edge of next year I will score myself as well as make 2020 predictions.
Facebook will make one more move towards “relevance”
and it will be the last.
We can’t help ourselves. We like the memes. We like the jokes. We like to argue. It’s not our fault we simultaneously whine about Facebook not showing us the good stuff, right? It’s YOUR algorithm! I was a big fan of the 2018 Facebook changes. Of course, it helped us to see the competition get buried 6-feet under with their blog re-posts and 3-times a day random repeat posts. That being said it was not nearly enough to fix the feed. It could go two ways, revert or double down. My prediction is Facebook makes once more hard shift on their algorithm, and it will include things like: More punishment for text in images, more punishment for off-site links, and even more requirements for real engagement to achieve reach. I am going to go a step further and say I think they will implement a way to gauge and score relevance for organic, non-ad posts. (I give myself an instant A++ if this comes true) if they really want to only show people what they want to see, I’ll be damned if an AI can’t tell when a landscaping company is posting completely irrelevant #MondayMotivation type click-crap… and this is how a lot of people have overcome the algorithm changes without actually being more engaging. If you can punish companies for going off topic with motivational/click-bait crap, Facebook, then you will have won the feed.
Stories gain ground… and ads
attention spans shorten. surprise.
Stories, IE short, video or posts with animated elements you watch once, will gain some ground. I don’t see this as an end all to social media, but potentially a big headline for 2019. It’s a reaction to the bullcrap and/or monotony in the feed of every platform. I don’t think they’ll make a major impact long-term, but I see them gaining significant ground in 2019 and I will measure my accuracy on this prediction on both the currency of stories in Dec 2019 and the long-term plan for businesses, because these platforms 100% rely on monetization for developers. The caveat here, with stories, is as they gain popularity, so will they gain more ads. Just look at Facebook Messenger ads in 2018. I predict by the end of 2019 that Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat will show enough ads, and the actual content will have devolved into enough monotony, that people stop using them as much. The issues with consistently using stories as a business, long term, is a topic too deep to cover here.
The beginning (continuation?) of the end for Twitter
The issues that lay before twitter aren’t new, but they are coming to a conclusion. You have a platform that’s 5% contributors and mostly consumers. How long can that model possibly last? Well: Until the contributors leave. I am seeing Instagram really start to take over on that front and I think it will all come to a head in 2019. Your challenges, twitter, are endless. It won’t be as swift a death as Myspace, twitter, but you should get your affairs in order. I will count this as a win in my 2019 prediction post if twitter massively changes their platform and interaction with its user base to encourage participation. But as of now, you have people essentially gathering soundbites and begging for a retweet -> Not the dopamine shot of a like, follow, fav, etc.
“Video” as content will falter.
Yeah. My boldest, feet planted, prediciton for 2019. A video is not the silver bullet you thought it was, it was just better than your random “National Perogie Day” posts. I have never seen a more bloated bubble than I see right now with the whole any-video-as-long-as-it-moves trend you see preached everywhere. The Adobe templates, the rando’s with a dad-cam, the weird, powerpoint-esque stuff happening right now, and even the performance of great highly produced videos that aren’t by influencers / individuals leads me to this conclusion: Video isn’t the end all. The thing marketers, money-grabbers, hobbyists, freelancers, and even long-time social media experts can’t seem to grasp is the old adage: “Marketers ruin everything.” Is visual communication important: Hell yes. Is your slideshow an authentic visual communication of a real story? …no. While I can’t get everyone posting on the internet together to collectively bop them on the head, I will say video will see a major falter in 2019 because it’s so bloated with amateurs and groups trying to get as much return with as little effort as possible right now. No one wants to see your 10s intro with an adobe AE template logo animation and royalty free-track before a slideshow. This is a prediction, not an article, so I won’t rant, but no one reading this can say that some of the viral greats like the Dollar Shave Club have sparked this consistently great experience with video ads. It’s sparked a general “You Need Video” ideal that while true in thousands of ways, has not been realized – rather it has become very, very noisy.
Much more “Meta” brand humor and voice
I think the current trend of brands literally speaking in their own (and generally snarky) voices will spread outside of food and into other major brands and industries. This meta style of humor really resonates with millennials. I view “Gritty,” the new Philly Flyer’s mascot, NASA’s Curiosity Rover, and Netflix’s new voices on twitter as the first big steps in this. I am excited to see how this affects local marketing and smaller brands. My prediction is in 2019 we’ll see a lot more of this, but we’ll also see it bleed into other platforms than Twitter.
There’s my 5! See you next year.