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2017 has been an exciting year for social media! We’ve seen major updates, introduction of new content formats and redesigns across many social media platforms.

If you just breeze through some of the top social media sites, you’ll realise that each of them have been evolving to meet the demands of social media users.

  • Facebook introduced multiple features and updates, as expected.
  • YouTube redesigned their logo and introduced the dark theme.
  • Twitter lifted the cap for 140 characters and extended it to 280 characters.
  • Snapchat redesigned their entire interface.
  • But Instagram takes the cake this year for the way they have dominated the market with the widespread adoption of Instagram Stories and the addition of the Instagram business tool. Read on to find out what were our top 4 picks for social media trends in 2017!

    1. Instagram becomes more like Facebook.

    With the introduction of Instagram business tools, the platform is evolving to cater more towards brands and marketers (similar to Facebook). Before this, businesses had difficulty gaining insights into how their Instagram page was doing. Now, they are able to receive insights about followers, page performance, demographics, and trends for future references. Instagram has also made it easy for marketers by allowing them to buy ads directly fromt the platform.

    Early in July, Instagram had 15 million business profiles; now, the platform boasts of more than 25 million active business profiles. The fact is that businesses are getting noticed on Instagram, with 80 percent of users following at least one business account.

    So if you’re a business, but you are not yet on Instagram Insights, get on with the program because you are missing out! All it takes is a click within your app.

    2. Ephemeral content remains relevant.

    When we used to talk about ephemeral content, we would think about Snapchat. However, this year Instagram Stories has dominated most of the conversation surrounding this topic. Not only has Instagram Stories taken over Snapchat in terms of users, Instagram Stories has earned its position as the ultimate platform for this type of content.

    While Instagram has over 500 million daily active users, 300 million of those are on Instagram Stories each day. That’s a whopping 60 percent of users that have adopted Instagram Stories as part of their daily lives. It’s no wonder that advertisers, brands and influencers have been jumping on Instagram Stories as their platform of choice—sometimes even more so than their actual Instagram feed.

    We’ve seen an array of new features on Instagram Stories this year—Boomerang, Superzoom, polls and recently the ability archive and highlights Stories. We can only expect for more of the unexpected in 2018.

    3. Live video gains traction.

    Many people said 2017 would be the year of video, but it turned out to also be the year of live video. While the concept may have started out with Meerkat, and later Periscope, this year has seen Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube go live.

    Live video is appealing because of the authentic nature of it. You don’t have full control over what happens once you go live, and that sort of spontaneity or even uncertainty makes live videos so much more worth watching.

    According to Forbes, users receive 200% more notifications for live video compared to all other activities. This shows how much the social media giants have been pushing for live video in 2017, however only time will tell if the novelty of this content format will wear off.

    4. Talking to robots becomes the norm.

    The fourth major trend we saw in 2017 was the evolution of interaction on social media, especially with the implementation of chatbots. For starters, we’ve seen many brands using simple chatbots on social media to respond to frequently asked questions. This has helped brands to improve their overall response time and customer service experience.

    Chatbots have evolved to a point where some of them are even able to generate qualified leads. Some companies have been able to contain the whole customer journey from awareness to purchase within Facebook Messenger, giving users a seamless experience.

    In fact, the growth of AI this year has also been seen across industries, whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. And we can probably expect more of AI integration within the realm of social media in 2018 and beyond.

    That sums up our major social media highlights for 2017. Let us know in the comments below what you consider the social media highlight of the year.