With over 4.2 billion people using social media, all fighting to be in the limelight, it’s always interesting to see what content makes it to the top. As 2018 has officially come to an end, we felt it would be beneficial to explore some of the most significant moments in social media from the year. With GDPR in full swing, algorithms changing, and new features joining the mix, 2018 was a year of change, that’s for sure! Which posts went viral? What platforms faced decline? What changes were made to user experience? All will be revealed…
The downfall of Snapchat
We all anticipated this might happen, but 2018 was the year of Snapchat’s decline. A series of un-wanted redesigns lead to social media sensation Kylie Jenner tweeting “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.”
sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018
What may have just been a simple spur of the moment tweet for her, ended up costing Snapchat an astounding $1.3 billion, thanks to her influence on other celebrities and users to also leave the platform.
Snapchat fought back throughout 2018, introducing a variety of fun lenses and features; but is this enough? Now that the likes of Facebook and Instagram have caught on to the ‘stories’ craze, extreme trouble lies ahead for Snapchat if they don’t pull something out the bag. Quickly.
What have we learnt from this? Firstly, this is a brutal reminder that social media is powerful – more powerful than ever before. The ability to voice your opinion at the click of a button is both incredible and damaging; it all depends on what gets said. For those deemed ‘influencers’ with millions of followers, the ability to burn a business to the ground has become easier than ever.
Snapchat certainly had a wake-up call thanks to Jenner’s tweet in February 2018. Observe your target market. Learn what they want from you. Take into account what they don’t want from you.
Facebooks 2018 algorithm change
Mark Zuckerberg started 2018 with a very bold move: a huge Facebook algorithm update which would change the way users view content. If you’re familiar with the world of search, then you’ll know the horror of an algorithm update. Sometimes they benefit us; sometimes they send our hard work into decline. Of course, algorithm updates typically occur to enhance our experience, but no one likes sudden change, and this update caused an uproar on Facebook – especially with businesses.
On his personal Facebook page, Zuckerberg made a post explaining his reasonings. “We’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”.
Following from this, he ended the post by stating “Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”
Facebook later distributed a press release explaining that the following types of content will be taking a hit:
❌ Clickbait (content designed to engage people artificially)
❌ News-focused content, particularly aimed at fake news publishers
❌ Public content from businesses
This change is great for personal accounts, but businesses? Terror. The idea that businesses both small and large would now need to work harder for their content to be seen has been a massive wake up call.
What have we learnt from this? The quality of your content matters more than ever. Just like Google, Facebook has knuckled down on the enrichment of content – if you’re posting for the sake of it and generating little engagement, you can wave bye bye to being seen. While this is a headache for many businesses, it reminds us that we need to be creating material that users will want to engage with.
Logan Paul’s Youtube mistake
If you hadn’t heard of this controversial YouTube star before 2018, that was all about to change. On the 31st December 2017, Logan Paul released a video of him and his friends exploring Japan’s ‘suicide forest’. Just the idea of this video sparks red flags, but of course, it gets much worse. The shocking video contained footage of a dead body; a big no-no for any platform.
The video soon spread like wildfire across all social media platforms, with users outraged that someone could publish a video containing such disrespect and uncompassion.
Logan Paul’s career soon came crashing down at the request of many online users. YouTube immediately broke off all production deals with the so-called influencer. This meant that Logan Paul could no longer earn revenue through adverts on YouTube, resulting in him taking a break from our screens.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
What have we learnt from this? Thanks to social media, content spreads – quickly. Once you have posted something, it is out there forever; even if the source gets taken down. If you don’t want to damage your brand reputation, think twice before posting. Make sure that you do not breach confidentiality, and that you aren’t harming anyone. Your brand reputation and business can be tainted in an instant if you don’t think things through!
Rise of video with IGTV
Video has very quickly become one of the world’s most dominant communication channels. We anticipated it’s rise in 2018 and were not disappointed. Instagram took the lead with video creation, introducing it’s very own ‘IGTV’ in June. IGTV essentially lets anyone upload vertical videos up to 10 minutes long; an hour in length for those with large followings. It is one of the very few platforms encouraging vertical videos (mobile optimisation at its finest), and although a slow burner, we can’t wait to see how it grows in 2019.
As Instagram officially became the third-largest social media platform behind YouTube and Facebook in 2018, it was clear that they needed a video-related update to keep up with the pace. With potential advertising placements available for businesses in the future, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
The idea of ‘stories’ also continued to rise in 2018, originally an idea from Snapchat. Stories can now be used on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, further confirming the need for easy-to-digest content. It’s also worth noting that the Stories format is growing 15 times faster than feeds.
What have we learnt from this? If you want to stay ahead of the curve, video creation is the way forward. Users are looking for content which is easy to digest, and are far more likely to watch a video over reading chunks of text. With 2019 expected to see even more progress with video, there is no better time to start than now! Take our video series Behind The Bulldog for some inspiration, maybe?
Instagram leads social e-commerce movement
2018 was an excellent year for innovative ideas, and if you can’t tell already, Instagram was sprinting miles ahead. No surprise there! Towards the end of the year, the social media giant introduced shoppable media to its app. This meant that retail brands could now ‘tag’ links and prices to items they’re posting. No more tedious ‘clink the link in our bio’ commands!
This shoppable media movement is beneficial for both Instagram and business owners, who both now have a new source of revenue.
What have we learnt from this? If you work in e-commerce, then you can’t afford to ignore the potential your business has on social media. Nowadays, buyers are influenced by the online world more than ever, meaning utilising social accounts is essential.
As you can see, 2018 was a game-changer for the world of social media; both positively and negatively. However, with more amazing features benefitting businesses and users than ever before, there’s no doubt that 2019 won’t add some more amazing movements to the mix. If you need some assistance with your social media marketing, we are more than happy to help.
What was your favourite moment of social media in 2018? Let us know!