Welcome to a special episode of Hashtag Trending as we bring you through our predictions for social media in 2020.
Last year we made the prediction that augmented reality and virtual reality would begin to see much more use in Facebook and Snapchat. We were fresh off Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus and Apple had just invested into Finisar. And while we did not see AR and VR take root in those platforms in quite the way that we expected, that does not mean that the rise of AR and VR has failed to materialize, and we are doubling down on our prediction to see those technologies infiltrate social media. According to stats from Statista, the global economic impact of these technologies is set to rise by over 50 per cent, from just under 20 billion USD to just under 30 billion USD, and we see no way that growth does not spill over into social media.
2019 was not a great year for Facebook by any stretch of the imagination. Controversy seemed to constantly swirl around them. From a lack of confidence in its leadership to worries that not enough is being done to monitor the tech giant, and not least notably, its refusal to fact check political ads. And with that controversy, we believe that 2020 will be the year we truly see the downfall of Facebook, at least as a marketing tool. We are already starting to see the stepping stones to this reality, as the number of young users – which includes anyone aged 12 to 34 in this case – has gone down by 17 per cent over the last two years, according to a study from Edison Research. And as the users flee, so too will all the advertising dollars.
As we see the likely demise of advertising on Facebook, we believe another tech superpower will come in to fill the gap that was left behind by the big blue F. Who is that tech giant, you ask? Well Amazon of course! As if they needed to invade every corner of this world anymore, they seem to be gearing up to take over the online ad space. This prediction is backed up by eMarketer, an analyst firm. They expect to see Amazon’s market share rise from 2 per cent to 3 per cent, on the backs of being able to offer what they call the complete digital wallet. This means that Amazon can offer the full e-commerce experience that other platforms like Facebook cannot.