by John Murphy

1. Facebook Live

The title of Clay Shirky’s 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody, truly comes of age in 2017 with Facebook’s decision to roll out live-streaming to anyone with an account. Expect the good, the bad and the ugly as you attempt to sip from the firehose of 1.86 billion live-streams from around the world. Keep in mind that you are no longer competing for attention with just your peers and competitors, but with the entire world. Will the Facebook Live Map finally kill off cable television?

2. Instagram Stories v. Snapchat

TechCrunch recently reported that Snapchat growth slowed 82% after the launch of Instagram Stories: “In the 25 weeks since launch, Instagram Stories has reached 150 million daily users. That’s the same number of users that Snapchat’s whole app reportedly hit around June 2016, after seeing swift growth from 110 million daily users in December 2015, Bloomberg reported. Snapchat hasn’t announced a higher number since, nor has one leaked, despite it trying to impress potential investors during its current pre-IPO roadshow.” Although this is disconcerting news for Snapchat, the explosive growth on both platforms shows the demand for highly creative, semi-live, ephemeral and imperfect video sharing.

3. Locations on Instagram

The most under-appreciated functionality of the past couple of years may have to be Instagram’s locations feature. Are hashtags old news? Don’t get me wrong, if you are running a successful user-generated marketing campaign with a hashtag, keep at it. If you need a creative hashtag branding effort for a niche event with a unique acronym then all the power to you. But for the most part, geolocations, geofencing and hyper-local geo targeting can supplement your hashtag efforts, if not all out replacing them.

4. Image Use Permissions

With the constant stream of user-generated content, the need to know how to properly aggregate, curate and display content that you did not create is at an all-time high. The main difference to keep in mind is embedding vs. uploading user-generated content. Services like Storify, Tint and native embed functionality makes surfacing and amplifying user-generated content a breeze because there is no need to ask permission to use the content. You are simply redisplaying content that is already shared publicly. If and when the creator of the content wants to take if down or make it private, the content will simply disappear. If you are actually downloading, taking a screenshot and uploading a piece of user-generated content, then it is advisable to obtain written permission from the content creator to give the OK to download and re-upload their content.

5. Documenting vs. Creating

In a world where everyone is empowered to create their own videos, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking through all of the possibilities that are literally at your fingertips. One tactic that is gaining traction is forgetting about overthinking creatingvideos, and instead, simply going live and documenting the world around you. As mentioned in one of my previous LinkedIn Pulse Posts, Zuckerberg puts it this way: “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world.” As users begin to be accustomed to anyone and everyone “going live,” creating videos from their smartphones, the definition of what it means to create videos vs. document the world around us will begin to merge into one. The demand for creating perfect, beautiful video productions will not fall, but more users will also expect imperfect, arguably more authentic, video documentations.

6. Spectacles

For $129.99 you can have your very own pair of Snapchat Spectacles. Delivering in 2 – 4 weeks and including a charging case and cable. Snapchat is obviously not worried about repeating the mistakes of Google Glass’s botched rollout in 2013, leading to the Glasshole debacle surrounding privacy and safety concerns and the eventual cancelation of the product. This will be a space to watch very closely to see how the public reacts to the next iteration of wearable, livestreaming devices. This could potentially serve as a catalyst to embedding a truly augmented reality landscape for the masses.

7. The power of Influencers

Expect to see more “ads” in your Instagram feed, as the lines between blatant and “accidental” product placement begin to get very blurry. “As the world has shifted to social media, consumers look at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions. Instead of looking at companies, as they did in the past, they now look at each other and at their favorite personalities, who are consolidating massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms. For these reasons, many believe influencer marketing to be the next big thing in advertising.” via.

8. Closed Captioning

Every now and then an old technology or functionality becomes a central component of today’s strategy. Even though Facebook is starting to roll out autoplay audio for their videos, there is still a huge need for SRT files for closed captioning your Facebook videos. Not only for accessibility reasons, but also because 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound. 😮

9. Relevancy

2015 was about the sheer quantity of Likes, Followers and engagement. 2016 was about the quality of content over simply running up the numbers. 2017 will be about relevancy. Tailoring customized content pieces to specific, segmented audiences will be the future of digital content marketing. Luckily, it is easier than ever to automate, hyper-target, and segment audiences using Facebook’s all-powerful advertising platform, Mailchimp’s drip campaigns or the integration of email CSV files with paid social media advertising. Relevance scores should be at an all-time high in 2017!

10. Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)

From Facebook’s 360 Videos to Pokémon GO, the demand and investments in virtual and augmented reality continues to grow at a rapid pace, despite the technology being somewhat in its infancy. With billions of dollars in investment in 2016, the big time players will continue to pour research and development into more immersive experiences. For example, Facebook has recently introduced the Surround 360, “a production-ready, high-quality 3D-360 camera design with accompanying automated stitching technology that seamlessly marries the video from 17 cameras, reducing post-production effort and time.”