The Future of Social Media


Technology and social media have come a long way since the 1940’s and the 1990’s. If you think about to the movie, Back To The Future, a lot of the advances we have made today correlate with the movie. For example; When Marty is watching is future self-talk to his boss. They were talking to each other using a television screen. Currently, if you have an IPhone or a Smartphone you can FaceTime or Skype people no matter where they are located. Granted, we haven’t gotten to the point of hover cars and 3D advertisements but I have a feeling we are getting closer, and closer to that happening. I mean look at some of the advertisement boards around your town. A lot of them are electronic billboards now and change ads every few seconds. In the next few paragraphs, I will be discussing the upcoming trends for social media, and what predictions are being made for Facebook and Twitter.

After doing some digging on the World Wide Web. I discovered that we have already started some of the trends that have been predicted; Companies hitting the social network scene, Companies sending text messages (if the customer provides their phone number), Advertising only social networks, and Video Live Streaming. However, there are others that slowly being presented but have not made its presents yet. For instants, being able to have a social network in the work place. Now, I’m not talking about LinkdIn or Facebook for advertising purposes. I’m talking about social networking sites for business purposes only. The idea is to have a platform that will replace emailing one business person to another. What they would like to see is a site where you can do group chat rooms (whether it’s within in the company, other businesses, or international), having a company profile and, of course, having your own personal profile. Its kind of like an IM messanger combined with MySpace and Facebook. Only this would be used for business purposes. One other trend that may be appearing on the social scene is Machine Learning. There is an App out there that you can download onto your smartphone called Forevery. What this app does is organizes your camera roll by place, time, and people who are in the picture with you. That way when you are ready to post an image online all the information is put together (creepy, I know). Finally, a trend that may be surfacing is VR (virtual reality) for social media. Yes, this is already coming out for video games, but many social media sites and articles see this crossing over into social media. They have hopes of people being able to travel different locations without leaving the comfort of your own home. This wasn’t in the article but I would assume that they would like to make it possible to chat with people through VR. I’m sure there are several ways that would make this possible, but would it be  part of the feature? We will have to wait and see.

What does this mean for our current social media platforms? I looked up two of the most well known social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter. This is what Facebook has planned in terms of growing with the rest of the newest technology. They hope to be able to incorporate VR into their social network. As many of you may or may not know about Facebook currently. It has the option of being able to Live Stream on the site. Along with being able to live stream, you can also post video and gifs. You name it. You can post it. So if they can do all of that. Why not be able to use VR on their site as well? They are currently working with scientists and the corporate of Samsung (located in South Korea). Think of all the cool things you could do on Facebook while on a VR headset. I watch a lot of live streams and if I could watch a live stream while feeling like I was with the actual person. That would be simply amazing! While Facebook is trying to strive with todays technology. There are many predictions that Twitter is headed towards a downward spiral. At this point, people are expressing how frustrated they are with only being able to post 140 characters per post. Not to mention they are very limited to other things that they can post (videos, pictures etc.). However, many people have commented that companies are more responsive on Twitter than any other social media sites. They’re predicting that this site will slowly become a social network that customers will be contacting companies.

So what did we learn today, folk? Today, we learned that live videos are on the rise, virtual reality is just around the corner, and we’re starting to get lazy with our technology. After, reading the following articles I wasn’t surprised at the predictions that were made. This is what I see happening in the future a social media. I believe that status updates and messaging are going to be a thing of the past. Everything will just be pictures and videos because we, as humans, find pictures and videos to be more entertaining / appealing over simple status updates. If you were to look at a young person’s phone you would see that they apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope etc. Status’ are dead and Visual entertainment is sky rocketing. Soon that won’t be enough and VR will be the in thing. If they are already developing VR phones (Samsung). That means other companies will follow suit. Our version of the future may not be the same as Back to the Future, but were getting close.


Starbucks Photo Sharing Plan


In this assignment, I was instructed to research the company I am following and figure out some sort of photo sharing plan. What I have to take into consideration is which platform would benefit my company the most and what they should post to get attention from the audience. As you may all know the company I am following is Starbucks. So naturally figuring out which social media platform to go with won’t be too difficult. In the next few paragraphs, I will be explaining why I chose the platform I did, what the overall theme will be on that platform and the conclusion.

The photo sharing platform I decided to go with is Instagram. This shouldn’t come as a shock to any of you as it was claimed as recently as March 2016. That Instagram is at number one for being the most popular photo sharing site. Instagram see as many as 400 million monthly active users. They also have more than 75 million daily users on this site. Just knowing how many active people are on this site is mind blowing. Which is why using this photo sharing site would be the most beneficial out of the rest of the photo sharing site that are out there. Also, while I was doing my research I found that Starbucks ranks at number 3 for the most followed brand on this site. With a whopping total of 1,061,655 million followers. Of course, this article that provided me with this information was from 2013. So, I took it upon myself to look at the current number of followers through Instagram and they have 8 million followers! How crazy is that to think so many people are following one company. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were still in the top three most followed brands. With all the statistics I provided to you. It wouldn’t be a hard choice to make when it comes to which platform to use. Another thing to take into consideration is all the different hashtags to can use on this site. Which makes it super easy for your audience the find the product / service / interest etc. that you are providing. Then if they like what they see they can follow you in an instant. So, now that I have explained why I’m choosing the media outlet that I am.

So, now that I have explained why I’m choosing the media outlet that I am. I will be getting into the fun part of what kind of things I would like to be showing on that page. While I was researching the most popular photo sharing site and getting all of the information on that. I took it upon myself to research Starbucks and what their primary focus is on their Instagram page. To no surprise, their focus is the product which is coffee. As I was reading this article I had a little bit of an, AH HA, moment. Which I will explain toward the end of me explaining the content of the article. In the article is stated that the primary focus of their Instagram page is product based photos that tie in emotional connections that Starbucks has created with each customer and their personalized coffee. Now here is when I had my moment of, AH HA. The article goes on to explain that the majority of the content one their page is follower based. Meaning, a lot of those pictures ARE NOT pictures that Starbucks has personally taken, but they are pictures that followers have tagged Starbucks into or have done hashtags of a Starbucks product / service. Which in a way makes sense because then it gives it more of a person feel to it. Like you know for a fact that it’s actual people drinking these drinks and they aren’t pretending to like it. In a marketing sense that’s a smart move on their part, but now I will talk about why this made me laugh a little.

A few weeks ago my class watched a video called, Generation Like, on PBS. It talked about how much social media is growing more and more each day and what strategies we do to get those likes and shares. At one point of the video it talked about how a lot of companies just mention a product on any social media site, and from there the audience starts to post pictures of that product / do a little review on it. That way they get free advertising out of the deal. Which is pretty much what Starbucks is doing on their Instagram (I will leave a link of Generation Like below)!

Lastly, one other thing I would like to add before wrapping up. I feel like they should add their SnapChat username to some of the pictures they post. The reason why I say that is because I follow them on Snapchat and sometimes the picture they post on Instagram usually correlates with what they share on Snapchat. What they do on Snapchat is they do a variety of pictures and short clips of a new product that are coming out, or how you can make that particular product yourself! So, if they were to post a picture of a new product on Instagram. They could leave their Snapchat username in the description so that way those who do not know about the Snapchat can add them, and see the little clips / pictures they do on there.

Let us recap on what we have discovered, shall we? We have discovered that if we were to start up our own business and needed to share pictures of our service / product. Instagram is where it’s at. With it be the number one sharing site of all time. It also makes it easy for the audience to post pictures of the product that you produce and tag you with very little effort. Also, if the picture if really good you could use it for an advertisement (with their permission of course). Another thing to remember is that if your company has a Snapchat, be sure to post the username on almost every post that you make personally. That way you have another way to share photos with more creative opportunities!

Friday Five: How Starbucks mastered marketing via Instagram

Instagram’s Top 25 Most Popular Brands

By The Numbers: 160+ Interesting Instagram Statistics (January 2016)