Well, if you log in to Facebook and do much more than just ‘Liking’ your crush’s pouting selfies, or judging the newly-wed couple who uploaded 105 honeymoon pictures, you probably make fair use of Social Media.
While social media has penetrated deep into our lives (and has successfully invaded our privacy!), features such as Facebook Check-Ins, ‘Nearby Friends’ on Messenger, Live Streaming on Periscope owned by Twitter, and Instagram opening up for advertisers in over 200 countries in September 2015 shows that Social Media still has the capacity to surprise us!
Can you imagine being without ANY social media platform for a single day? Well, don’t! In fact, imagine what else is coming up in the social media domain that might take the world by storm! Let’s take a look at some social media features which might change the way we live –
1. Virtual Reality / Artificial Intelligence in Social Media
With the Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus back in 2014, the world has been extremely interested in knowing how Mr. Zuckerberg is going to use this company to change our social media experience. Though still under testing and development, through Virtual Reality of this level, you might soon be able to actually experience in a 360 degrees view, what your friends are doing, and not just see their selfies and check-ins! This is not only going to be an immersive experience for friends, but is sure to open new gates for brands and content creators across the world.
While Microsoft’s experience into AI in Social Media bombed with its BOT Tay going berserk within 24 hours of its launch (it ended up passing racist and obscene comments to people), Artificial Intelligence in social media is much of an unexplored domain. If Microsoft faces problems in developing something like this, one can’t help but doubt on who is going to do this next big thing (some Mr. Zuckerberg?)
2. Facebook Live Goes Live
While Periscope owned by Twitter, launched last year and even boasted about 10 million active users by the start of Fall, it was also named the Best iOS App of 2015 by Apple itself! We all are aware about Youtube’s Live Streaming feature as well, but then again, when Facebook does it, it shows the world how its done!
Facebook launched the LIVE Feature recently which allows users to go live literally any time, from anywhere. The possibilities that it brings to content sharing sector are unimaginable with a user base such as Facebook! The best part? There is no separate App and you do not even have to leave the Facebook App to use the Live Feature!
3. Facebook at Work? From a restriction to a necessity
Though Slack (one of the most powerful workplace social networks) recently announced 1 million users being logged in at the same time, which is an achievement in itself, we are yet to witness the innovations that Facebook brings with Facebook at Work, to allow colleagues and staff persons to interact in a better and more collaborative environment. While social media is emerging as a very crucial business and advertising tool, it will be intriguing to see how these social media platforms (till now seen as a disturbance at work), will transform the way workplaces are managed in near future.
4. Customer Service at its Best
A very basic and effective use of social media has been seen in the way brands have started communicating / interacting with their customers, in a bid to build a rapport. From the biggest MNCs to the newest of startups, everyone has used these social media platforms, primarily Facebook and Twitter, to engage their consumers and even answer to their queries, complaints and suggestions in an unimaginable period of time. This swift mode of communication has lead to a whole new definition of brand building and brand relevance through social media. As these social media platforms become more innovative and immersive, it would be fun to see how brands use these new features for better communication and customer retention.
5. Shopping goes Social
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms have started embedding ‘Buy’ buttons directly in their interface to make shopping easier for those of you, who drool over the dress that their friend wore to last night’s party, by looking at her FB picture. This innovation was long overdue as statistics have shown how more and more people are talking about brands on social media. [Throwing in a fun fact: Four out of five people (yes, thats a proven fact!) say that their buying decisions are influenced by the posts that their friends make on social media]. The social media has seen a paradigm shift from being referring platforms to being platforms that can enable customers to buy directly without even leaving the platform!
Social Media (no matter how criticized) is like that younger son of the family who gets the maximum scolding for being spoilt but ends up making things work in the perfect manner! It sounds surprising, but yet, even after so much innovation in social media, we can safely say that there is a lot more coming up in near future. The power of technology and innovation cannot be imagined and it is going to be extremely interesting to see how social media platforms amaze us, with of course, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter being the front runners.
Oh, its time to make a Facebook Post! 😉