We Are Social 2018 #Trending1
We Are Social 2018 #Trending2
DUCTION People are often looking for the next new killer trend they
can jump on. Be forewarned: this will not be the case with
this trend report. Simply because trends, as they relate to
human behaviour, take longer than 12 months to evolve…
and focusing on people, not just platforms, is always a
better way to go.
Therefore, what we will be doing in this report is looking at
some of the established and recognisable trends to date
and analysing how they are shifting and evolving, through
the help of social, leading into 2018. Enjoy.
We Are Social 2018 #Trending3
Delivering information in smarter, more personalised ways
We Are Social 2018 #Trending4
WE’RE IN THE AGE OF INFORMATION OVERLOAD
90% of the data on the internet was created since 2016. 400 hours
of new video is uploaded to YouTube every day. Every minute on
Facebook sees the creation of 510k comments, 293k status
updates and 136k photos. Instagram is no different, with users
posting 46,740 pictures every minute.
This is where algorithms come in to play. We’re constantly finding
new ways to navigate the problem of information overload. In 2018
we’ll be doing it better and with greater accuracy for
personalisation than ever before.
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There are different ways of solving information overload,
and an easy and straightforward way is optimising
structure and organisation, take for example how Facebook
is tackling this with their new Facebook Explore feature.
Facebook Explore is an alternative ‘discovery focused'
newsfeed designed to help users discover content that’ll
spark their interests - beyond the posts from friends and
brands they already follow. The way it works is to surface
recommended content it thinks you’ll find interesting (based
on your Facebook psychographic profile) and will come
from sources you haven’t followed yet – like Pages and
other posts from publishers or news organisations. And yes,
this essentially creates a second feed and twice as much
inventory for Facebook!
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Hashtag follows are another way we will be (re)curating content in 2018.
Instead of only following brands, individuals or organisations on Instagram,
we will soon be able to follow specific hashtags, reframing not only how we
filter the content we receive around passion areas or niches, but also how
users, brands and even influencers can develop their social footprint going
RESURGENCE OF ‘OPT-IN’ MARKETING
We’re starting to see a big step back to 'opt-in’ marketing, largely fuelled
by new messenger platforms, evolution of ‘group’ functionalities on existing
apps as well as AI and automation. This creates more intimate and
meaningful connections with audiences and brands.
Adidas’ ‘Tango Squad’ is a prime example of how Facebook Messenger
was used to create an opt-in community of football influencers delivering
exclusive, premium content to the audience and in turn more valuable
ADIDAS TANGO SQUAD
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Solutions looking at new ways of removing more friction from the experience
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More than ever before people are looking for ways to do things
more eﬃciently and eﬀectively, often relying on digital
technologies and brands to facilitate a more seamless user
Solutions to remove friction in the customer experience are
ever-evolving and in 2018, we’re going to see more
consolidation of experiences into the feed as well as distribution
of platform with functionality users know and understand.
We Are Social 2018 #Trending9
THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL COMMERCE
There have been murmurs around Silicon Valley and Old Street
for a while but only now, looking into 2018, is social commerce
coming into meaningful fruition. Instagram is currently trialling
shoppable tags within posts, Spotify has developed a
commercial proof of concept selling beauty products with Pat
McGrath & Maggie Lindemann, and even the likes of KLM, have
started baking-in purchases within their messenger app
With Facebook currently trialling their in-
platform payment and transactional fulfilment
service, if brands aren’t strategically looking at
social commerce in 2018, they may have a
We Are Social 2018 #Trending10
In the pursuit of frictionless, platforms are making
fundamental shifts in their experience
architecture. For example, Facebook’s pioneering
efforts in augmented reality will not only enable
users to natively add information, but also
enhance those experiences (e.g.: reviews, novelty
filters, edits, etc).
Facebook is taking it even further with visual
search (utilising AI to infer and leverage elements
within an image more so than just analysing what
it is). It was initially developed to improve the
experience of visually impaired users, and it will
now be extended across the platform, affording
all users benefits like searching for images on
Facebook with keywords that describe the
contents of a photo, rather than being limited by
tags and captions.
Pinterest’s new ‘Lens’ is another great example of
how a platform is leveraging visual search to
serve up inspiration.
Facebook is, once again, looking at ways of
leveraging their tools and features to support off-
platform experiences, allowing brands to embed
Messenger onto their website to enable them
to seamlessly integrate live chat via Messenger.
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Platforms giving more power to users and inﬂuencers through social
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More Australians use an ad-blocker than watch cable TV and
Australians are twice as likely to discover a brand or product
through social recommendations than an ad seen online.
We’ve shifted away from traditional, perceived cultural authorities
(government, traditional media, pundits, etc), to now referencing
multiple peer-related sources and perspectives to shape our
identity and support the decision making process.
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INFLUENCERS SHAPING BRANDS
It’s this cultural shift that has fuelled the rise of inﬂuencer
marketing, which is not only hitting maturity, but evolving in
innovative and meaningful ways.
Take uber-influencer Casey Neistat. He’s a great example of
influencers not only rising above the tactical and forging longer
term, equity building relationships with brands (as a Samsung
influencer, he reportedly has the Samsung CEO on proverbial
speed-dial), but also showing how influencers can fundamentally
impact legacy businesses considering how CNN - whom we’d
previously deferred to - not only bought his Beme app, but
ultimately collaborated with him to develop Daily Show in order to
draw a younger audience.
Our recent study found that 63% of Australians who follow
influencers do so because they see them as a trusted source of
information; a powerful source of reference. (Download full report
We Are Social 2018 #Trending14
YOUR SOCIAL FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT
Moving into 2018, influencer marketing is not the
only evolution in this space; the platforms are also
building better mechanisms to facilitate reference
over deference through native development. Take
the launch of Instagram voting and Facebook
live polling, or even the fact that Facebook has
acquired TBH (the anonymous teen compliment
app): they show how they are investing in social
feedback mechanics, giving more power to users
INFLUENCER AFFIlLIATE MODELS
Influencer marketing has developed to the point that affiliate
marketing wunderkinds, Amazon, have evolved inﬂuencer
relationships into an aﬃliate revenue model, whereby
influencers monetise the power of their influence and receive
revenue based on sales.
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Smarter technologies focussed on enabling empathy and enhancing
We Are Social 2018 #Trending16
Tech advancements have started to evolve from
just utilitarian technologies to being smarter and
more focussed on enabling empathy.
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Telepresence (a set of technologies which allow a person
to feel, or give the appearance, of being present with
other people) is starting to take form.
Take tech startup Elli-Q, for example, who managed to
merge social media, connected tech and AI into a
product that not only connects elderly people with the
outside world, it also gives them humanistic interactions.
A lot has been said about VR - and we still are, for the most part, in the
realm of innovation-without-application for the moment - but what
Facebook is doing with Facebook Spaces is showing how this
technology can be leveraged to build empathy with people who are not
able to see or experience environments in a useful or meaningful way.
Going even more blue sky, bidirectional empathy (the tech being
sentient enough to understand your wants, needs and moods) and
being able to serve up content / service / utility before one even
know that they want or need it, is a very powerful proposition if we
can find ways to unlock it.
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The creation, sharing and consumption of content in quicker more
We Are Social 2018 #Trending19
We’re living in a culture of ‘micro moments’. Those are
the moments when people turn to their phones to act on
a need to learn something, share something, discover
something, watch something, buy something.
These moments happen on the go - augmenting
downtime - and are impacting how people create and
experience content in more ephemeralised ways. The
emperalisation of content - the creation, sharing and
consumption of content in quicker more
meaningful ways - will be a trend dominating 2018.
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EVOLUTION OF TRADITIONAL CONTENT IN NEW FORMATS
Not only will we see the evolution of traditional content and
entertainment formats into an ephemeral context (for example HQ,
the trivia game show from Vine founders, tapping into live social feeds
culture), we will also see brands and publishers creating more and
more bespoke fit-for-format content, not too dissimilar to Snapchat’s
‘Literally Can’t Even’ vertical show. It’s becoming so popular and
successful that made-for-social content is starting to get green-lit for
traditional distribution mediums (with Snap once again heavily
investing in this direction). HQ TRIVIA SHOW
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‘Hooked’ and ‘Tap’
This isn’t limited to moving image content - we are even seeing
innovations in literature and message bots, with chat-fiction apps
like ‘Hooked’ and ‘Tap’ creating new content experiences more attuned
to the audience and their environments. These types of apps are also
exploring interesting ways of layering multimedia content within the
literary experience and it wouldn’t be hard to see how these experiences
could evolve into temporal or ‘live’ engagements with audiences.