Our predictions going into 2017!20 December 2016
We all know apps have been around for ages, but we predict that we’ll see a step change in how interactive they get in 2017. API’s (Application programming interfaces) have been in place for a while across platforms such as Facebook, Insta, Youtube and Twitter. In summary, they’re like spare bits of Lego, enabling users to add on and adapt the platform’s functionality to suit their, (and their clients’) needs. We’ve already seen them become more prevalent this year, but we predict we’ll see them become even more widespread next year. With WhatsApp and Snapchat looking to release more API functionality next year, it’ll enable social media managers to pull insights using customisable, in-house analytics tools from the majority of platforms. Aside from social media, news organisations such as the BBC will be developing on this next year, giving news sites the chance to produce content which is easier to disseminate and discover.
We’ve seen countless updates this year from the likes of Insta, Facebook and Snapchat, all vying for the same audience, and adapting their functionality, which in some ways emulates other platforms. We think this trend will continue, with an aim to give users complete experiences without ever having to leave their apps. We’re even seeing Google experiment with app streaming, which allows users to try apps before they download them. Will mobile usage in 2017 make traditional websites redundant? We think not, but if this year’s Black Friday is anything to go by, we’ll see ever greater numbers dropping desktops for their phones. As a result, we think we’ll look back on 2016 sites not optimised for mobile and laugh at how blasé some brands are to their customer’s needs. In-app marketing will also continue to be strong well into 2017, and we’re excited to see what groups like ITV will be doing with the likes of their ‘Second Screen’ ads, delivering truly tailored brand experiences.
With tech trends predicting self driving cars and VR will hit the mainstream next year, we reckon the emerging trend of programmatic buying will become ever more prevalent. Allowing marketers the opportunity to use algorithms and date to create highly targeted, automatic ad buying and placements. Programmatic has been a big buzz word for 2016 and shows no signs of disappearing any time soon.
4. The echo chamber will implode
Those surprised by the Trump win or the Brexit vote have been sucked into what has been coined as the ‘social echo chamber’. Audiences’ social preferences of who they like or follow on Twitter and Facebook have narrowed the opinions on their newsfeeds to suit their own agendas. We think audiences will become more sceptical in 2016 with regards to using social media as their top source for news. Facebook are looking to address this issue, but we predict we’ll be seeing different agendas, (such as the alt-right), opening up discourse online.
5. Power to the people!
We think 2017 will see a real hesitation for consumers in freely giving up their personal data, whilst demanding more control over how it’s used. Brands will struggle more and more to obtain personal data from consumers, without giving something back in return. But those that find unique ways to get past customer’s will be reign. ‘Caveat Emptor’ over ‘Data Capture’!
6. Bots will become your best friends
We think that as the rise of AI personal assistants such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home become ever present in people’s homes, bots on our phones will become huge too. Retailers such as Estee Lauder are already using bots to communicate with customers, and KLM has a bot that pushes travellers’ travel and boarding passes straight through their messenger. Depending on its purpose, the bot could book you a restaurant or flights, make a doctor’s appointment and send emails. Good for those who have an inherent dislike for human interaction, not so good for those who think AI’s are taking over the world…
7. VR’s year to shine!
We predict VR will become even more mass market next year, with cheaper, better quality units available for all. We also think it will go far beyond its ability to entertain, as we see it implemented in more commercial situations. It will also start to change audience’s perceptions as our client, Emblematic Group have shown, creating a VR simulation of a refugee camp. It will bring a really visceral angle to the news that we’ve become so desensitised to over the past year.