We’re into a new year, with undoubtedly many social media stories to come, however there are a few stories from the end of last year which have caught our eye… Here’s a roundup of those developments which will play an important role this coming year.

The biggest news dominating social media during December has concerned Facebook’s crackdown on ‘fake news’. After an outcry that hoax stories influenced the outcome of the US presidential election, updates have been made allowing users to flag news as fake, and Facebook has partnered with independent fact checking websites to help demonstrate where sources may be disputed. Although there aren’t necessarily any direct implications for businesses from this story, it is important that Facebook reacts strongly to this in order to reinvigorate confidence in the accuracy of its service, and with misinformation sweeping the site, it has to ensure users and businesses don’t begin to mistrust the network.

We hope you’re not getting tired of live video developments, because social media definitely isn’t. Twitter has now introduced the possibility to live stream directly from the app without the need for a Periscope account, facilitating the process of live-streaming even further. To go one better, Facebook launched 360 degree live video soon after, although Twitter has just introduced its own version as well. With live video becoming increasingly prevalent on social media, yet with such a variety of ways to use it, the opportunities for businesses to go live and engage directly with users (as previously mentioned in this article) are rapidly expanding.

Finally, Instagram has launched a few more features that provide interesting opportunities for businesses. Firstly, users now have the ability to save posts in order to revisit them later. By providing engaging content like a memorable ad, or showing a product in a way that resonates with users and making them save it, businesses have the opportunity to create a long-lasting impression on users. Elsewhere, Instagram Stories has had yet another new development, with addition of stickers & text allowing these Stories to be customised even further, the value of which to businesses we looked at last month. Instagram has celebrated reaching 600 million users this month, with 100 million of those joining in the last 6 months. This, coupled with the fact that Instagram is increasingly catering for businesses, has demonstrated the rising opportunity having a strong presence on Instagram can have.
We can expect 2017 to be as full of cutting-edge social media developments as this past year, so we’ll be continuing to watch closely as we enter the new year…