2017: the year of change

As the New Year celebrations wind down and everyone cheerfully returns to work, we are in for a month of cold winter mornings, failed resolutions and low bank balances. If, like me, you prefer not to dwell on such gloomy outlooks,  you might want to make a list of things to look forward to in the new year. One thing that is sure to keep us all on tenterhooks is social media. So, what features can we expect to prevail in 2017?

By Jessica Phillips

Live video

In April 2016, Facebook announced that live video would be available for all users. Later in the year, we saw YouTube introduce live streaming into its platform too.

Since its introduction, we've had the opportunity to tune in to some of the most wonderful and absurd moments the internet has had to offer.

In January 2016, Chevrolet launched its latest electric car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. For those of us that weren't lucky enough to be there in person, we could catch the entire launch, as it happened, through Facebook Live.

At the other end of the spectrum, millions of people tuned in to watch a woman laughing uncontrollably, wearing a Chewbacca mask while sitting in her car, back in May. Yes, it might sound ridiculous, but if you haven't seen it, you're missing out.

Facebook has already announced that it will roll out its 360-degree video for Facebook Live users in 2017 and YouTube also has a similar feature on the horizon. The big question is, which platform will prevail?

Fight against fake news

41 per cent of people in the United Kingdom now use the internet or mobile device apps to find news. Over the next few years, we can expect this figure to overtake television, which currently sits at 67 per cent.

Being able to access the latest news whenever and wherever is great, but it does come at a cost. Not all online sources can be trusted, which has led to a rise in 'fake news' from sites that deliberately publish and circulate inaccurate information about current events.

The phenomenon peaked during the 2016 presidential election, when fake news about both candidates circulated on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms on a daily basis.

In 2017, Facebook and Google are expected to cut off advertising opportunities to sites carrying misleading or deceptive content. However, the fight against fake news is unlikely to stop there. Germany is also considering legislation to fine social media sites that let fake news proliferate. Will we see these measures go global in 2017? We certainly hope so!


Virtual reality

In 2016, we saw virtual and augmented reality take off and become available to the wider society. In the coming year, we expect the technology to hit social media.

vTime, the first virtual reality social network already exists. It allows users to socialise with friends and family in virtual locations. Could this technology also be applied to the most popular social networks?

We already know that Facebook acquired virtual reality giant, Oculus in 2014 and we expect to see something come of this in the coming year.

97 per cent of online adults have used a social network within the last month, making it the ideal place to market your business. If you need help keeping your social networks up to date, get in touch with Stone Junction on 01785 225416 or by e-mailing sayhello@stonejunction.co.uk.

Jessica Phillips

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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