Social media is on the path to be revolutionized in 2015 due to the failures we have seen from major platforms in the last few years. Users are on the hunt for anonymity, e-commerce abilities, and new alternatives to tried and tested formulas. The following three trends are set to dominate the New Year and will help us reimagine the use of social media in our daily lives.
Users are gravitating towards platforms that offer complete anonymity in 2015. Mobile apps like Yik Yak and Whisper provide anonymous messaging and sharing services; they have a steady user base that is growing by the minute. The infamous Snapchat hack last year that resulted in 98,000 private photos being leaked to the Internet has led to distrust in the social media giants. Facebook attempted to counter this weariness by releasing a new application for iPhone and Android called “Rooms” where users can anonymously create rooms about certain topics and invite others to join in on the conversation. The success or failure of Rooms will be determined this year, as Facebook begins to market the app to a wider audience. Don’t be surprised to see other top social media platforms release similar updates and applications in 2015.
Expect further integration between social media and e-commerce this year. Twitter and Facebook have begun implementing “Buy” CTA buttons for online shoppers. Users can click these buttons to make quick purchases from within the network. The primary advantage of using social media shopping for a business is that they already have an audience on the platform and don’t need to point customers to another site or get them into the store. Third-party vendors have found workarounds on Instagram that allow you to use the platform for to shop; the platform will likely release some sort of official feature this year to combat this. Pinterest is now letting businesses use Product Pins that include real-time pricing, availability, and where to purchase. Pinterest is a powerhouse when it comes to e-commerce, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
New Social Networks
The shortcomings of the top social media companies have led to an emergence of new and niche social networks. Ello is leading the pack by providing a completely ad-free network that promises not to sell your personal data to a third party. While Ello is still invite-only and has some major bugs to work out, it already has over 1 million unique users that are embracing it for its anti-Facebook approach. Video and music content was added this month, but there’s still a long road ahead for the social media newbie. Tsu is another new, invite-only platform with a main selling point that promises to share up to 90% of all its ad revenue with the community. Users are rewarded for inviting friends with additional revenue. “Line” is a rising app that functions primarily as a messaging service, but allows brands to connect with users via specific deals and coupons within the app. The social media landscape will be altered this year as new networks try to contend with the giants.