Back in the 2000s, nobody expected social media to grow insanely. It was the place where people could connect and communicate with each other. But now, it’s much more than that. Social media has become the marketplace for businesses to promote their services and attract more customers. As Statista reports, 32% of online shoppers prefer social media networks to physical stores.
So, what are the popular trends in social media and how they can be implemented in app development? The answer to this question you’ll discover in our article. Keep on reading it to find out more!
1. AI & ML Algorithms to Protect User Data
Data breaches represent the main cybersecurity fraud in the digital sphere. They might come in different manifestations, such as data leaking, identity theft, and so on. With a rapid growth of social media users each year, data protection has become a number one priority for businesses and state institutions. With so many cases out there, companies of all sizes started to implement AI & ML technologies to reduce the number of data breaches on the Internet.
The infamous revelation of Cambridge Analytica caused concerns among Facebook users in 2018. So, what happened? Well, the company gathered sensitive information from Facebook users without their consent to create a psychographic profile of a voter for the US Presidential campaign in 2016. It was a shock not only for Facebook users but also for its founder - Mark Zuckerberg. To stop data leakage, he decided to take the following measures:
- restrict access of third-parties to user’s data;
- implement AI-based algorithms to protect sensitive information of subscribers.
How can AI technology help? It’s used in preventing identity fraud, strengthening 2FA (two-factor authentication), and blocking malicious links. As an icing on the cake, AI algorithms are applied to develop anti-malware software and login audits that protect users from cyber attacks.
Machine Learning is another technology that helps developers find solutions for securing user information in social media. The infamous cases of Google+ that exposed data of 500,000 of its users and the Marriott data breach of 25 million passport numbers caused concerns over data privacy. As you may notice, all these cases resulted in the leakage of a large amount of information. AI technology couldn’t handle these problems because its algorithms are more applicable to smaller data sets.
In the investigation of The Duke University, Jinyuan Jia and Neil Zhenqiang Gong explain how their invention - AttriGuard - can protect users from inference attacks on social media apps. Through implementation of ML algorithms, researchers found out why data leakage occurred and the way it might be used by hackers. All in all, machine learning along with artificial intelligence represent one of the tech solutions that will definitely reduce data breaches on the Internet.
2. AR & VR Are Going to Reinvent the Social Media Landscape
Immersion and emotional connection with the content are the main advantages AR & VR bring to social media. LITSLINK, an app development agency, has expertise in these technologies. That’s why you can contact us to discover more about our services. To understand better what AR and VR are, let’s explain their advantages and implementation in social media apps.
AR (Augmented Reality) is an interactive way of augmenting real-time environment to enhance user experiences. Lilach Bullock, a contributor to The Forbes, mentions that Snapchat’s users have AR filters or lenses that superimpose two and three-dimensional images on human faces. There is another feature released by this app - Shoppable that aims to promote websites and sign up pages for brands on social media. Actually, Facebook and Instagram follow the AR trend as well. Taking into account the scale of influence AR technology has on social media, there is no doubt it will change our daily lives.
Let’s consider just a few examples of using AR to foster engagement in social networks. Unite is the annual Unity’s conference can be seen by its visitors via app, showing AR experiences at the event venue. AR games are gathering steam and experts believe they will occupy the social media landscape as well.This list is endless as AR technology will make a nudge in the social media industry, providing more augmented and exciting experiences for users.
VR (Virtual Reality) creates a simulated environment, allowing users to interact with the virtual world. With a head-mounted display (HMD), people can delve into exciting and immersive experiences from any part of the world! Have you ever imagined yourself driving a jeep in African savanna? Or kayaking in the Norwegian fjords? All these are possible with VR, and social media domain does not fall behind in this case. Facebook launched its new app - Facebook 360 that enables users to view photos from different angles. YouTube offers a VR app to its users, which is available on GooglePlay. With this product, it’s possible to create 360-degree videos that are transmitted in a cinema mode. Snapchat and Instagram also follow this trend, helping their users transmit videos in 3D space. Is VR the future of social media? Sure, it is. VR is going to change the way of how people communicate and do business.
3. User-Generated Content - A Booming Trend for Marketers
What is user-generated content (UGC), and how is it beneficial for marketers? Podcasting, blogging, social media networking, digital videos, wiki articles, reviews, and other types of content posted by users is referred to as a user-generated one. Recent research demonstrates that user-generated content is trending on social media. More and more users take part in giveaway campaigns by sharing posts from their favorite brands with an aim to win a prize! This trend was successfully implemented by Coca-Cola in 2011. A marketing team came up with the idea of the campaign ‘Share a Coke’ that aimed at improving brand awareness among consumers. The company printed 150 popular names on bottles and asked users to share it on social media. ‘Share a Coke’ went viral in over 80 countries across the world.
The main reason why user-generated content gains traction is its ability to build trust between consumers and brands. This way, marketers should follow these simple steps to establish a reliable connection between brands and their target audience:
- Run a contest to engage your customers;
- Conduct market research to understand the preferences of your target audience better;
- Create a ‘share-worthy’ content.
4. ‘Tight-Knit’ Groups Are Gathering Steam
Quality comes first in the modern social media landscape. The feeling of belonging to the same community that shares common interests, hobbies, and concerns gives the reason why ‘tight-knit’ groups are in demand today. Using the principle of ‘less is more’, such an approach leads to social media success cases like building a loyal audience of customers and promoting a brand name on the market. For this reason, ‘tight-knit’ groups shouldn’t be neglected by mobile app developers. Have a look at LITSLINK’s product - Mush - that unites more than 1,5 million mothers in the UK.
Do you want to discuss a movie, a book, or a theater scene? If you do so, join any group of your interest on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform! Reddit, a social community network, has subreddits - small communities that share the same interests. For instance, there is a group ‘Game of Thrones’, where users give live comments about episodes of this TV series shown on HBO every Sunday. Communities like subreddits or Facebook groups create an intimate environment for social media users, where they can express opinions about their favorite things.
5. Real-Time Video Streaming - An Emerging Social Media Trend
Video streaming is trendy on social media. In 2017, over 14 million users watched how the baby giraffe was born at Animal Adventure, an animal center situated near Binghamton, NY. It’s one of the prominent examples of how live video streaming can invoke interest among social media users. And thanks to this feature, small, medium, and large-sized companies benefit from it. Here is the list of effective video streaming strategies used by businesses to increase brand recognition among their target customers:
- Show content that resembles a TV program;
- Demonstrate a real location during live video streaming;
- Use multiple social media channels for broadcasting.
Will live video streaming disrupt the social media industry? Sure, it will. According to Ericsson, a Swedish telecommunication company, streaming on-demand videos increases traffic. Besides, this report states that YouTube has between 40% - 70% of video traffic among all other social media networks. Facebook and Instagram are also on-trend there. For example, Facebook Live, attracted 1,6 billion users. The same can be related to Instagram Live, a functionality on Instagram Stories, that streams videos in real time.
Social media networks will undergo substantial transformation in the near future. Since more and more people start to use them in the world, social media apps might be in demand. Other than that, there is a high risk of hack attacks, which is quite a challenging task!
In our article, you discovered top 5 social media trends that are worth attention when you’re thinking over creating your new social media app. AR & VR technologies, AI & ML algorithms, user-generated content (UGC), ‘tight-knit’ groups, and real-time video streaming will definitely enhance the user’s experience and keep them engaged.