It’s been an interesting year in the social media world. We’ve seen platforms update and diversify to compete with rivals. As well as technological advances in AI/chatbots and voice. Facebook’s been busy with Instagram, Watch, Dating and Gaming. In addition to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. So it’s time for us to look back on 2018 in retrospect. Whilst we can’t cover everything, we’ll roundup the newsworthy events to conclude the year ahead of 2019. Let’s get into it!
June 2018 saw Facebook’s Instagram launch IGTV to rival YouTube. The long-form video feature enhances storytelling through portrait video on mobile. Videos are up to an hour long, working similar to Stories. A rival to Snapchat, Stories has improved with each update throughout the year. 2019 will surely see more updates in the vertical video landscape.
On the other hand, Facebook launches Watch to rival YouTube. The video add-on features ‘Watchlist’ and ‘Top Videos For You’, as well as ‘Watch Parties’. In addition, their e-dating alternative Dating began testing in South America, determining its success. Additionally, Facebook Gaming came out to rival Twitch and YouTube. While it gained momentum with popular streamers, top streamers and the majority of gaming viewers remain on its rivals. Furthermore, 2018’s latter stages saw Facebook struggle with data breach scandals. We’re all aware of the Cambridge Analytica mess. Zuckerberg got a grilling from the US Congress, whilst EU bodies were calling for a full audit. It looks like data privacy and trust remains an ongoing issue for the new year!
2018 has seen major advances in AI tech. The Huffington Post suggests 60% of millennials use AI and chatbots on a regular basis. Therefore, brands are utilising them via messenger apps and chat windows to communicate with their audience. That’s because chatbots are flexible, effective in quick comms and customer service. Their always on approach provides instant gratification 24/7, freeing up time for personnel to engage in other activities.
Voice search in the digital sphere is advancing. Whilst podcasts are regarded as the OG of social content, voice controlled AI are deemed the future; surging in value. Early adopters like Gary Vee look to utilise the feature, with tech giants like Amazon and Google launching Alexa and Home devices. Voice is gaining momentum so expect to use ears as well as eyes in 2019.
Facebook and Instagram’s developments were newsworthy events shaping how we consume social content in 2018. The data breach scandals set in motion an issue of trust and data privacy which will continue in the new year. Finally, AI advancements in chatbots and voice are changing how we communicate and search for content across social media. Here’s hoping for a fruitful 2019!