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This Week in Social Media – Dec. 22, 2017

Sharmin Kent December 22, 2017

Happy Holiday Weekend Eve, everyone! This is the final TWISM of the year–we’re taking some much-needed vacation time. We hope you will, too!

It’s been an eventful 2017 in social media, and we’re looking forward to a busy 2018. Let’s use this week to look at some of the biggest social media happenings of 2017.

Stories Cross Social Channels

Snapchat’s Stories feature was so popular that other channels copied it: Facebook and Instagram both added Stories to their UIs. Even YouTube is trying a version of the feature, calling it Reels.

Giving brands a new way to create content for followers is smart. And since other social channels are simple borrowing Snapchat’s concept, it’s a bet they could afford to take–they already knew it was a popular format. The question now: since Snapchat’s signature feature is now everywhere, how will Snapchat reinvent itself in 2018? Storytelling is a central element of audience engagement; to survive, Snapchat will have to deliver a new and innovative storytelling feature in the new year.

Channels Fight to Protect Users

Delivering authentic content to users was a challenge in 2017. Social channels responded by trying to protect users: from Twitter’s verification changes to Facebook’s algorithm updates to weed out false news, providing trustworthy content was a top priority.

Many users and brands, however, gave social channels middling marks. Facebook still appears to shy away from its role as a powerful media company, and Twitter’s Terms of Service lack the clarity many brands and individuals demand. To attract and retain users, 2018 has to be the year the internet’s most influential social channels present real solutions to the problems plaguing the communities that use it as a foundation.

Pivoting to Video

It seems like every major social channel tried to incorporate video into their platforms. Twitter’s partnership with the NFL, live news channels like “post-cable” Cheddar, and BuzzFeed’s AMtoDM all enjoy various levels of success. Facebook’s Watch is still new enough that it’s testing pre-roll and changes to Facebook Live haven’t yet yielded clear results.

But the one certainty is the pivot to video is here to stay. As social channels like YouTube add paid programming and dabble in live TV, other social channels are working hard to deliver original, branded and hybrid content. Next year’s video wars will be fun to watch–it’s anyone’s game at this point.

Thanks to everyone who reads TWISM every week and offers news bits. We’re definitely working hard to give you even better, up-to-the-minute social media news in 2018. Have a fabulous holiday!