The Future of Social Media: Visual Based Platforms
Social media has transformed since its birth. Platforms have come and gone from AOL to MySpace to Facebook and Twitter.
Now, there is a trend toward more image-based platforms among teenagers with Snapchat and Instagram showing growth and strong numbers. On the other side, networks that do not rely as heavily on images, like Facebook and Twitter, are being used less often.
Snapchat’s and Instagram’s usage has more growth among teens. According to Adweek, monthly teen use of Snapchat grew from 74 percent in fall 2015 to 80 percent in 2016. As for Instagram, monthly teen use has grown from 76 percent in 2015 to 79 percent in 2016. The growth from both of image-based platforms makes them the most popular social networks for teens above Facebook and Twitter.
Non-image based networks are falling behind, percentage-wise. Facebook’s monthly usage among teens fell from 56 percent in 2015 to 52 percent in 2016 while Twitter’s percent also fell slightly from 58 percent to 56 percent.
With these statistics showing what networks younger cohorts are flocking to, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t fall behind.
This is crucial. You cannot fall behind and only stick to the major platforms such as Facebook. If you want to reach teens while they’re still young, you must create engaging content for them on the right platforms - specifically Snapchat and Instagram.
Don’t drop Facebook or Twitter either.
Just because teens are using Snapchat and Instagram more does not mean they are outright switching networks completely. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have their own strengths (See several networks pros and cons here).
Moreover, Facebook offers tools to help you advertise better, has the largest social media audience and has versatility when it comes to business size. Twitter also offers a quick, direct communication line between businesses and their consumers and other benefits as well.
Additionally, Facebook and Twitter have developed unique ways to communicate visually on their networks. GIFs on Twitter or Facebook can make posts pop (Check out this list of GIFs on Twitter to see how it’s done).
Whatever networks come and go, we need to understand how our audiences want to receive their content. For now, it seems that visually-based messages and networks like Snapchat and Instagram are on the rise.
Read more about Snapchat here.