The social trends that dominated 2016 - 8848

The social trends that dominated 2016


Social media stands still for no one. In 2016 we’ve experienced defining moments including the introduction of Facebook Live and the onward march of Snapchat.

It’s clear that social media is integral in the lives of both individuals and businesses. So what have we witnessed?

The rise in video content

Let there be no doubt, video content is huge.  A staggering 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day, with video providing higher engagement rates compared to other standard text posts.

Live video streaming

Live video streaming leads the way, particularly with the growth of Facebook Live, the nifty streaming tool which allows anyone with a phone to broadcast content around the world. Streaming has quickly taken its place as a top scroll-stopping content format.

Hot on its heels are Twitter and Instagram with their own live streaming tools. Watch out for more in 2017.

Instagram Stories

Instagram introduced its Stories feature earlier this year, a storytelling tool which enables users to post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. After Facebook failed to secure a $3 billion deal for Snapchat, Instagram Stories was born in a bid to win over the Snapchat generation.

While the move has seen mixed reviews, the opportunity for businesses to showcase their brand in a prime location on the app is a huge step forward as it advances to make the app more business friendly.

More than just 140 characters

Whilst the rumour mill went into overdrive when it surfaced that Twitter may extend its character limit to 10,000, September saw the platform actually alter its 140 character limit to exclude images, GIFs, polls and Quote Tweets. A small change that makes all the difference for content creators helping to reduce the amount of abbreviations needed to compose a tweet.

The rise of Snapchat

With 150 million daily users and 10 billion daily video views, it will come as no surprise that Snapchat has dominated the youth social media market in the past year.  The platform was able to balance brand and user content where others were struggling, and created a platform where a younger demographic could escape the realms of distant aunts and other family members clogging up their newsfeed and feel free to be themselves without any pressure.

Social chat

WhatsApp has dominated the chat apps market in 2016, and with over 900 million people using Facebook Messenger, messenger platforms are now de rigueur if you want to engage in a more personalised manner.

Chat features became more prominent on social platforms as a way of exchanging quick information. This ‘in-the-moment’ feature showcases the rise in popularity of chatting as people turn away from broadcasting news, but instead look to create personalised content to engage with others.

So what does 2017 hold?

Here are a few golden nuggets to get you excited.


Twitter may finally sort itself out. Alternatively, it will be sold to someone who will try to sort it out.

Video, video, video. Expect to see even more of the stuff in 2017.

Microsoft, the new owners of LinkedIn will throw everything at the platform. Expect to see big changes in 2017.

Finally, if you’re not creating all your content for mobile, throw in the towel now.