21 Jul 2017 Social Media Mid-Year Recap
It is hard to believe we are already over halfway through 2017. At this point in the year, it is a good time to evaluate key changes in social to date before we look ahead. We will take a look at the current state of some of the major social networks in this mid-year recap. The chart below from Simply Measured gives us a breakdown of current active users by channel.
Facebook hit a big milestone with two billion monthly active users. It took them under five years to reach their second billion users. Facebook has taken a lot of heat for being a source of spreading fake news and they have taken precautions by reducing visibility of clickbait in their algorithm, to try to solve it. Facebook also launched Marketplace this year which is a peer-to-peer buying and selling platform. Other updates include expanded capabilities for Facebook Live (desktop/laptop as well as video captions), and the launch of Facebook Stories.
Instagram took major strides towards getting marketers invested. This year they reached one million advertisers on the platform. Instagram has been continuously making updates to Stories this year. They added location and hashtag stories appearing in Explore, the ability to save Live video to your Story as well as filters and other functionalities like Snapchat. A key change to the platform was the ability to upload up to 10 images/videos within a single post. Finally, Instagram has made with shoppable posts for both brands and users.
Twitter has been on shaky ground for awhile now, but they are trying to get back to their core competency of being the place to go for news and real-time updates. Given this direction, they have made advancements with Periscope by adding Live 360. The platform stopped investing in the ‘buy button’ because they weren’t seeing adoption. Finally, Twitter has always had a problem with abuse on the platform. They have started taking real steps to limit abusive tweets and give you more control over your notifications and search results.
This year, Pinterest has been distancing itself as a social network and focusing on being more of a search platform. Since this new positioning, they have placed a lot of investment in their Lens feature. Using Lens will help people discover products in their real-world on Pinterest. It will also help them find recipes and ‘Shop the Look’. They have also introduced auto-play video as a new ad unit which will play as people scroll through the platform.
Snapchat went public early this year and received a lot of press about its future. Most brands don’t have a presence on the platform. If they do, they are using it for paid media buys only. A feature that many probably didn’t see coming was Snap Maps. Snap Maps is where people can share their location and see where friends are and stories are happening. Snapchat also introduced custom stories which is a geofenced area or specific users can create stories together. Finally, they added New World Lenses which have a 3D element to snaps.
According to Simply Measured, YouTube users upload 500 hours of video every minute and consume 3.25 billion hours of content each month. Those numbers are very impressive. Livestreaming and VR are the two areas that YouTube has been focusing on this year. Users can now livestream in VR. They have also created a VR180 which decreases the barrier to creating full VR content. Additionally, YouTube added mobile livestreaming which can be found in search, recommendations or playlists.
Did any of these trends surprise you? We would love to hear your thoughts and predictions for the back half of 2017.