by Phillip Sternitzke | @PSpepper
Back in January, we put out a blog post titled “Social Media Tip: 3 Real-Time Trends to Watch in 2016.” It was our guess on what we thought would be some interesting trends that emerge this year in the social media sphere. Our guesses were that we’d see an advance in real-time live streaming video, real-time responses, and real-time data collection. For the most part, 2016 has seen progress in the real-time area, but are the changes as drastic as we expected?
Of all the trends we expected, real-time video is the one that has grown the most drastically. In 2015, Periscope, a video streaming app that’s now a property of Twitter, launched. The app gave users the ability to stream what they were doing directly from their phone and allowed thousands of viewers to watch the stream live. The app had initial success, devouring the market of a similar app called Meerkat that launched shortly after. However, in early 2016 Facebook threw their hat into the real-time video ring. Starting just a few months ago, Facebook pushed Facebook Live, a new service that would allow users to live stream to other users. Since its wider release, Facebook Live has taken off. Large channels use it as their primary source of live video over Periscope or YouTube’s live streaming service. While other real-time video services like Twitch are the preferred platform by many, Facebook Live offers a lot of freedom and has brought real-time video to the masses. So, with that trend we were correct.
Our second expected trend was real-time responses, which, in the future, will be mandatory for customer service. Many companies rely on repeat business from their customers, so customer service for those with comments, questions, or complaints is incredibly important. The best way to get repeat business is not always the quality of the product or service, it’s often the consumer’s opinion on the company. And from what we’ve seen in the first half of 2016, more companies seem to be embracing real-time responses. Utilizing social media to answer questions immediately. So that trend also seems to be coming to fruition.
And the last trend we predicted was a rise in real-time data collection, and this is something we’ve certainly seen more of. Companies love numbers since it gives them hard facts, and tells them exactly who their customer are. With social media, collecting data is about as easy as it gets. You can see where a user lives, who they follow, their birthday, their email, gender, and just about anything else a company could ask for. They can even get all this info in real-time with people tweeting and posting on Facebook as things are happening. Companies just have to run the info through a computer program and they can find exactly who they should go after. So, finally, with our guess about increased real-time data as a trend, that one was also true.
We are only about half way thought the year and we’ve already seen some fairly drastic changes when it comes to real-time interaction and data collection. With constant advances in technology, these trend will become even more widespread in the future.