Bad News for advertising
Facebook have been a dominant force in online advertising only to be rivalled by Google. However, 2018 sees the cost per ad rise substantially. This cost has already seen a rise of 35% year on year and with this extra rise will it be enough to put advertisers off the service?
Uncertainty also surrounds the future of organic growth on the platform. Facebook already makes it quite difficult for advertisers to get their content out to people outside of their following (without spending money). However, recently there have been tests to separate page posts from the News Feed. Facebook has denied plans to rule out a new feature. However, this does shed light on the need to adopt an effective paid strategy next year.
A focus on video.
If there’s one trend you can’t ignore this year, it’s video. Facebook have released Facebook Watch in the US and have plans to bring the service to the UK. This service has been created to rival services such as Netflix and Facebook will be producing their own series’ and content for the service.
Facebook will be rewarding people that create high quality ‘programme’ like videos. A lot of people are preparing for this change with people releasing their own internet series’ on the network. Cisco predicts that 75% of mobile all traffic will be video-based by 2020 and Facebook are well ahead of this trend.
The Leaders of Social Commerce
We have seen the introduction of social commerce in 2017 in the form of Facebook's ‘market’ service and it looks as if a social commerce service within Instagram will be taking centre stage.
According to Retail Dive, Instagram currently influences nearly 75% of user purchase decisions. With this in mind, Instagram will be becoming the point of sale rather than the ‘shop window’ it has been for retailers over the years.
Instagram is clearly a natural contender in the race to take commerce to the next level. 38% of 18-34-year-olds have previously expressed a want to purchase directly from Instagram – and that number is growing.
Instagram to become the choice of advertisers
Instagram’s creativity has opened doors for brands and marketers looking for an interesting way to make their marketing more fun and interesting. It has quickly become a favourite for these advertisers and total impressions and reach were 20% higher on Instagram than on Facebook during 2017.
With the massive success in advertising on the platform, 2018 looks to become Instagram's year, it is predicted that Instagram becomes the social platform of choice what with Facebook's declining popularity amongst teens. Instagram is set to gain $4 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2018.
Much needed innovation on its way
Twitter are the go-to for breaking news and trends, this is their USP and next year, Twitter will continue to protect this USP with several new features. Twitter is going to release their answer to Instagrams and Snapchat's ‘stories’ and release ‘happening now’ something that will allow the platform to make a much-needed innovation.
More of a focus on advertisers
What with Facebook’s threat to split its News Feed to separate organic page posts and paid ads, this is opening a door for Twitter. I expect that Twitter are going to increase its involvement with ROI and brand partnerships to make an easier experience for their advertisers. Also, the advent of a new Promote Mode (now in beta) looks to help businesses to pay a subscription fee for automated self-serve ads, this could prove a turning point for Twitter.
An attempt to keep the users on longer
Linkedin has grown a lot of over the past few years, but its active usage rate is still lower than any other major platform, this affecting their rate of advertisement. LinkedIn are needing something that will keep their audience on the site longer. To do this LinkedIn will incorporate the oh so popular ‘live’ feature a lot of sites are using now. LinkedIn will use it to allow users to host ‘webinars’ and allow users to develop deeper and meaningful relationships with their connections.
At a stretch LinkedIn may return with ‘Refresh’, an app that connects a user's calendar with Linkedin, allowing connections to see when you are available for a meeting. This could be a great update for businesses to allow them to set up meetings with potential clients, share events and much more.
Advertising options improved
More than one year into Microsoft’s ownership of LinkedIn, it was announced that LinkedIn will start supporting ads in the inboxes of Microsoft Outlook users users. They began offering advertising on third-party platforms due to the lack of activity on linkedIn itself. LinkedIn will carry on focusing on building partnerships with third-party platforms in order to allow advertisers to reach their impression and budget goals more effectively.
New target audience
In 2018 there will be a complete overhaul of Snapchat in order to appeal to a wider audience. This plan includes making snapchat a lot simpler to use, as their new target audience (users above the age of 34, and users outside of english speaking markets) find the app too difficult to use, the app will be changed for their benefit. Snapchat will also be releasing a new android app in order to attract an audience that is currently missing out. Snapchat will also be allowing creators to make money with stories and will be allowing anyone to make one of Snapchat's famous lenses.
Good news for advertisers and watchers
YouTube will end unskippable 30-second ads that appear before a YouTube video. The company will focus on commercial formats that are more engaging for both advertisers and viewers. YouTube will instead focus on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.
Formats that include 15- and 20-second ads will stick around; you’ll likely see more of the six-second “bumper ads” rather than ones that you can move past after five seconds. And again, the change is not expected to take place until at least 2018 so we still have many months to go.