The Social Media Crystal Ball

Trends that will change social media in 2015 

Businessman Consulting Glowing Crystal Ball

If you thought the pace of social media was quick before, just wait until next year. Over the past couple of months, some major developments were announced that will undoubtedly push social media forward at an even more rapid rate in 2015.

Those developments include a new network known as a “virtual bathroom wall” that has already been banned by schools in the U.S.; a new platform the drew one million users in just five weeks on the promise of sharing ad revenues with users; and a messaging service that allows users to transfer money to another user using debit card information. Oh, and that’s free of charge. (Those are Yik Yak, Tsu, and Snapcash, by the way.)

I think it’s safe to say we will see many other social networks adopt these and new trends as we move into 2015. Here are some social media trends to look out for:

Social Media and eCommerce

Pinterest has been the queen of combining these strategies thus far, but we saw brands on Twitter and Facebook beta-test “buy” buttons earlier this year as well. The benefit is that customers can purchase a product without ever having to go to your website. (Hello impulse buying!)

The strategy also helps advertisers connect individual posts with actual purchases, so they can better track return on investment and which posts actually lead to sales. Expect the integration of eCommerce and social media to really explode in 2015 (and quite honestly, it’s about time!).

Transparent Privacy Issues

Social media users, even the less tech-savvy ones, are increasingly becoming aware of how their personal data is collected, sold to advertisers, or given to government agencies by social networks. Snapchat, which builds itself on being secure and time-sensitive, was hacked repeatedly this year. Then in October, it was revealed that Whisper actually saves a user’s posts and locations. Users will continue to demand transparency in 2015.

Facebook is already at the forefront of the issue, letting users create chat rooms that do not require names or locations through the chat app Rooms. They are also providing support to Tor, an open-source anonymizing service that is already popular among politicians, law enforcement, and journalists. Tor allows users to conceal their location, identity, and browsing history.

Virtual Payments

As I mentioned, Snapchat created Snapcash to make it easy for users to transfer money from one person to another. Facebook also has the capability built into their Messenger app. Also this year, Apple announced Apple Pay, which allows you to make payments with your smartphone.

What we expect to see happen is that businesses will be allowed to accept payment from user. So, imagine a Twitter user seeing your tweet for a product, clicking the “buy” button, and then being able to pay without ever having to leave Twitter. It’s all about consumer convenience.

Smart(er) Devices

Refrigerators, security systems, thermostats, and even bathroom scales now come equipped with sensors that allow them to collect data and send it off wirelessly to the internet or your smartphone. Some of them even send notifications to Facebook and Twitter! Imagine your refrigerator seeing you’re planning a party via Facebook Events and alerts you to pick up more beer on your way home. Get ready for an uber-connected life in 2015!

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