You’ve finally gotten down to a regular posting schedule on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe you’re even using Hootsuite to post to all your social media at once because you’re that web savvy. Get ready for 2015, when the world of the Internet takes another leap forward with chat apps, e-commerce within social media and more. Citrus Studios has pulled together the top trends to keep an eye on in the coming year!
What does it all mean for you? It’s about to get a whole lot easier for your customers to reach you and instantly make purchases from your e-commerce site.
1. Chat Apps Become a Real Social Platform
If you haven’t yet heard of WhatsApp or chat apps in general, that’s about to completely change. In fact, do yourself and your business a favor and download it now to your phone and start figuring it out.
Chat apps are already huge in countries like China and India and they’re about to pop here in the U.S. WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook last year for $19 billion. Yes, billion.
When WhatsApp added a sharing button that companies and brands could include with mobile sharing buttons, USA Today sports site FTW, Shazam and Buzzfeed all reported sharing surpassing that of Twitter, Contently.com reports. In China, even state media is competing for audience on chat apps, finding a large, young audience on them. For millenials, chat apps are a place where they can openly share opinions without it being tied to their official identity, as chat apps allow users to log on with nicknames or pseudonyms.
Says Citrus Studios CEO Kalika Yap, “Apps like WhatsApp are already big – people are using group chats to communicate a lot more now to their “real” friends and families.”
Expect companies and brands to experiment with new ways to reach potential clients and customers in 2015 on these apps.
2. Shopping and Payments Come to Social Networks
There have been hints of this over the last year with Facebook allowing users to save their credit card information on the site for easy checkout, Facebook and Twitter beta-tested “buy” buttons, and there were rumors of Facebook adding a payment feature in their Messenger app.
In 2015, expect Facebook to begin allowing users to share money via debit card with each other free of charge, predicts Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes.
By far the biggest twist for business will be shopping within Facebook and other sites. Expect Twitter and Facebook to begin allowing users to make purchases with a click or two without ever leaving the site. That means an e-commerce site could run an ad and make a sell instantly in the network without hoping a user clicks on it and makes it all the way through your own site’s checkout process.
3. More advertising on Facebook
If you have a company page on Facebook then you’ve already seen Facebook start to limit how many of your page’s fans see each post. Facebook will continue to limit it even more in 2015, Hootsuite’s Holmes predicts. Brands and companies will have to pay to advertise posts to reach their audience, which is expected to drive up the cost of Facebook advertising. And you’ll want to pay to play. See #2 if you are unsure.
4. Privacy, Anonymity Come to Social Media
Remember back in the 90s when email was new and people had addresses like Batman_1967 and you weren’t really sure who Batman was? Well, it’s kind of coming back through chat-rooms. The idea of anonymity, of talking to strangers online without having to share everything about yourself is growing fast. Facebook, which really introduced the era of social media tied to real identities, introduced Rooms (Learn More Here) in October, allowing users to join under pseudonyms to chat about shared interests and swap photos and memes.
They’re following services like Banter, HipChat, Whatsapp, and others on the real-time chat trend. Fast Company predicts real-time chat with the ability to stay anonymous will be the “hot” social media in 2015.
5. Location-based Social Media
We don’t mean FourSquare, which some are predicting will quietly disappear this year. Look instead for social apps that allow you to view updates by strangers nearby. Newcomer Yik Yak raised $62 million last year with its Peek Anywhere feature that lets people see what people are talking about in different neighborhoods throughout the country. Twitter intro’d a similar feature last year. GigaOm predicts these features will come into their own this year or die out. As a business with a brick and mortar location, it might be a way to instantly reach those who are actually nearby.
Gigaom: Read Full Article Here