2015 Social Trends in review and what's to come next year | Tony McManus on 6PR

20 December 2015 1:56 pm

Time to look back on the year’s social media highlights; what have we learned and what exactly can we look forward to in 2016?

It is official, One Direction won Twitter in 2015 with the most retweeted tweets; a stat that not only confirms the boy band’s mammoth reach but also the awesome power of young people on the platform.

Another notable mention goes to Caitlin Jenner who reached one million Twitter followers faster than anyone, ever before (a title previously held by President Obama).

A happy note on which to round out the Twitter year, the platform also tells us that out of all of the modern day hieroglyphics we call ‘emojis’ we love ‘laughing man with tears’ the most in 2015.

Facebook offered up some interesting takeaways from 2015 also, listing Australia’s top five check in locations: Crown Melbourne, MCG, Darling Harbour, Sydney Opera House and Taronga Zoo.

The top five most talked about topics on the platform in 2015 were largely political, with top spot taken out by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott; followed by the leadership ‘spill’ that saw him removed (Turnbull’s ascension); the ANZAC Day 100 year anniversary; the Bali Nine executions and lastly, the Syrian civil war and refugees. It would be very interesting to have an indication of the general sentiment on these topics (positive or negative), perhaps something for Facebook to consider providing in the future?

The topic most searched on Google in 2015? The November terrorist attacks in Paris.

So, what do we have to look forward to in 2016?
As touched on last segment, next year looks to be the year of Snapchat with the network continuing to dominate the 13 to 24 demographic, attracting 100million users each day.

Mobile messaging applications will continue strong: WhatsApp, WeeChat and Facebook Messenger and the like are well and truly here to stay. The popularity of such products seem to be stealing a significant chunk of business away from the telecommunications industry (goodbye SMS!), it will be interesting to see how they tackle this challenge moving forward.
Front of mind for all social users in 2016 is privacy. The spate of privacy breaches in 2015 has made most of us hyper aware of privacy and control of personal content. As a result, ad blocking is coming to the fore with savvy users electing to block remarketing and pop-ups in an effort to better protect themselves online. This will inevitably force marketers to seek out alternative avenues and invest more in social channels to compensate.
The future is now with the next hot trend: virtual reality. In 2016 we’re sure to see some big moves in the realm of virtual reality, with big players like Google, Facebook and airlines already embracing the cutting edge technology.

We’ve heard it a couple times now but it clearly bears repeating, the final ‘trend to watch’ in 2016 is live streaming, particularly around live events. It is in the moment social activity on steroids, so watch out! It will be interesting to see how copyright law rallies to catch up with this technology in coming years.

Listen to Meg’s chat here:

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