Status Update: Q2 Social Media Trends


Social media is in a perpetual state of rapid evolution. Updates and new features are constantly reshaping how users engage across platforms, and the day-to-day headlines are a barrage of buzzwords and tag lines. How is one supposed to keep up?
Short answer: Our quarterly publication, Status Update.
Long answer: Let us help. Every 3 months, we bring you the top updates and trends from around the social media industry. We dig in, pull key themes, and provide insight on what platforms are up to, where they’re headed, and how you and your brand can stay ahead of the curve on social media. So, let’s get to it. What went down in Q2?
Social media revolved around three main themes, some familiar, some new.

  1. First, Facebook continued its efforts in offering anything and everything its users could want.
  2. Second, we saw a rise in features involving artificial intelligence.
  3. Finally, the phone camera is growing into one of the most powerful tools in tech.

How did these themes take shape?

All you need is Facebook.

Facebook made several moves in Q2 that further intertwine its family of apps. In November, the social giant created an all-in-one inbox for Messenger, Instagram, Facebook, much to the delight of social media managers around the world. Building on that, Facebook brought all connected profiles into one convenient location in its flagship app, allowing users to easily pop back and forth between linked accounts.

An additional element of Facebook bringing its family of apps together is the move’s potential impact on eCommerce. By bringing everything together and showcasing the strongest features of each platform, Facebook is on the cusp of becoming a shopping network with Instagram’s inspiration and product discovery, Messenger’s customer service, and Facebook’s scale and ePayment capabilities.

Carrying over from one of our Q1 themes, Facebook jumped in with both feet into broadcast media, inking deals for original TV shows, sponsored live streams, and partnering with major media outlets.

And, as per usual, Facebook made more than its fair share of headlines by knocking off competing products.

The rise of the machines.

As we learn more about the applications of artificial intelligence, the technology is integrating into more and more aspects of social media operations. Through chatbots, AI is holding some of the more predictable conversations. In strategy development, object recognition is picking out patterns and drawing insights on our social behaviors based on posts we interact with, engaging creative elements, and even our facial reactions.
From an experience perspective, object recognition and visual search offer opportunities for platforms to show users more related content. Pinterest is leveraging the feature to help bring users more relevant, desirable content than ever before, and Snapchat is leaning on the technology to curate publicly-sourced stories based on visual content.

The social camera.

The phone camera can thank one-to-one messaging for its meteoric rise to power. Snapchat and its camera-first messaging platform redefined how friends communicate with one another, and its constant efforts in developing new creative tools are a hallmark of the platform’s dedication to helping friends create and share fun content.
Obviously, Facebook has been no help to Snapchat in terms of growth, but in copying Snap’s messaging app, Zuckerberg and Co. did strengthen the capabilities of our phone cameras. Through Facebook and Instagram’s own efforts in augmented reality and one-to-one messaging, the rate at which the camera has expanded its role in our lives has tremendously increased.

Parting words.

What new creative tools were announced in Q2? What platforms did Facebook knock off this time? Could Facebook’s efforts in unifying its family of apps have wider-reaching effects? What’s all the hubbub around chatbots? Is there still hope for Twitter?
Find your answers to these questions and more, along with all your updates from around the social sphere, in our quarterly publication, Status Update.

Want to work with us? Contact us here.

Want to learn from us? Get insights, context, and actionable intelligence on what’s trending in the world of culture, social, and the future when you sign up for our newsletter.

Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

More articles