Digital predictions for 2016
As 2015 draws to a close, we have been thinking about the year ahead and what key trends will dominate over the next 12 months. Below are our key predictions for digital PR in 2016.
Businesses will adopt social for internal purposes: Social networks such as Slack are helping businesses around the world strengthen their internal communications through messaging and document sharing. Expect competition to come from Facebook as it rolls out ‘Facebook at Work’ in the New Year, a tool to allow users to be connected to a work facing Facebook and a personal one without mixing them. More details about the service will be released over the coming months.
Video and live-streaming will dominate: Video will be absolutely key in 2016 and in particular, live streaming. Facebook is currently rolling out live broadcasting capabilities, to rival Meerkat and the Twitter owned Periscope. Dubbed ‘Facebook Live’, it is expected to dominate other live streaming options and change the way Facebook users engage with the platform indefinitely. Live streaming can be used by businesses in a number of ways, from hosting interviews to broadcasting panel talks and industry events. The increasing value placed on live content may impact some of the social practices businesses use, for example, scheduling posts in advance.
More e-commerce features will become available: Facebook and Pinterest are two brands which have introduced ‘buy’ features to their users. Now users who see something they like in a sponsored post can click to buy the product without leaving the app. By the end of the year, most brands will increase investment on ‘buy buttons’ as part of their digital advertising campaigns as we should see more exciting developments within this field.
Digital advertising spend will increase: We expect to see a rise in social media advertising spend in 2016 as organic growth becomes increasingly harder to achieve (though not yet impossible). We should also see platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allowing more advertising functions such as pop-ups. It will be interesting to see how advertising is affected by ad-blocking software, which currently poses a huge threat to it.
Opportunities with Augmented Reality (AR) will grow: Earlier this year, the New York Times developed an AR app which was more popular than any other app a news organisation had developed. Viewing augmented reality can now be done relatively cheaply, and hopefully soon developing virtual worlds may be too. The impact on brands and businesses could be huge – some retailers have already begun exploring how the technology can be used to drive sales and improve customer experience.