As we say goodbye to 2016 – a year where social media played an unprecedented role in both political and consumer battlegrounds – here are my seven bold social media predictions for 2017:
1. Snapchat Ads Will Be Run at Lower Costs:
Outside of sponsored Geofilters, running a sponsored video ad on Snapchat requires a pretty significant investment. Earlier this year, Snapchat announced the launch of their ads API and, alongside this, a few Beta partners supporting the ads API. While the same minimums apply regardless if you go through a Snapchat rep or an API partner, expect the cost of entry to go down significantly once more partners start to support the API. Brands might be able to launch a Snapchat video ad campaign at the same minimums as Facebook / Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter in 2017.
2. Instagram Will Be Even Bigger for Ecommerce:
Instagram has been quietly testing out shopping ads with a few ecommerce brands. With these ads, users can tap a photo to see products featured within the post and their corresponding prices. When tapped again, the photo will reveal additional product information; including an external link to shop for the product without ever leaving the platform. The data is taken from an existing product catalog feed; which is how dynamic product ads are launched on Facebook. When this product becomes available for all advertisers, expect many ecommerce brands to immediately capitalize on it.
3. Vine Will Be Revived…For Now:
One of the bigger stories of Q4 2016 was Twitter announcing that they will be killing off video app Vine, which only three years before was the most popular video sharing application in the market. Three weeks later, receiving less media attention, Twitter announced that they were looking to potentially sell Vine to one of the few companies interested in purchasing the app. Even with its struggles, it will be surprising if Twitter doesn’t end up selling Vine before it chooses to shut down the app completely. However, turning Vine into a profitable acquisition will be a tough challenge for whoever decides to purchase the company. Expect a deal to be made by early 2017 and potentially for it to be closed down or sold off again within a couple of years.
4. Better Attribution Between Online Ads and Offline Sales:
Tracking the impact of online ads on in-store visits and sales has been improving over the last couple of years with the help of Nielsen, Facebook, YouTube, and other companies. Expect more social networks to offer a solution for tracking ads to offline behavior and for this to become a big part of how brick and mortar companies are measuring the impact of their social ad campaigns.
5. LinkedIn Will Offer a Ton More Ad Features:
While there’s a ton of value in advertising on LinkedIn, the network falls short of Facebook / Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter in terms of features and functionality. With the Microsoft acquisition, expect LinkedIn to ramp up their ad offerings significantly in 2017. Remarketing is one that the company already announced is coming soon, but expect others like video ads to be added to the mix in 2017.
6. YouTube CPVs will Come Down in Price:
Facebook has been spoiling advertisers when it comes to average CPVs; with many able to get as low as $0.01 per view. The autoplay functionality plays a major role in why this is the case, but even CPVs for views of 10 seconds or more are still at a low cost for many brands. Low CPVs combined with the extensive targeting Facebook provides is resulting in some advertisers shifting their ad dollars to Facebook over YouTube. Expect YouTube to come down on average CPVs to compete with Facebook’s pricing.
7. Facebook will Incorporate 360 Live Video into VR Headsets:
Video was a major push for Facebook in 2016 with the launch of 360 video and Facebook Live. Earlier this week, Facebook announced that they will be integrating the two together as they start to test Facebook Live with 360 video functionality. While only a small subset of brands will be able to access this feature in the coming weeks; expect this to be a big priority for the network in 2017. Not only will 360 functionality become the norm for Facebook Live, but it will start to be incorporated into VR headsets to create a live, virtual reality experience for users.