2016 was one of the most interesting, transformative years on record in social media.
We saw the introduction of live video on Facebook, fake news stories and editorial issues in abundance, a hardware introduction from Snapchat, and Instagram creating Snapchat-like features almost monthly.
With so much change taking place, these three bold predictions may have a shot of coming to fruition in 2017. Let's see what happens.
1. Twitter Will Sell
This might be my boldest prediction on the list, but I'm sticking with it. Twitter struggled this past year and faced a wide array of issues. Profitability challenges were abundant, leadership was often questioned, and 8% of its workforce was laid off in an effort to address the issues.
After openly suggesting selling the company, potential buyers including Salesforce, Google, and Disney all passed on the opportunity - at least as it sits today.
The company's' continuing struggles could force it into a position to sell, leaving someone with the difficult task of turning tweets into profits. And with other digital ad platforms growing steadily, the pressure is on.
2. Live and Staged Video Will Dominate on All Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube - all of the major players have made investments in improving their live video offerings. We saw the usage of live videos increase dramatically in 2016, With Facebook even giving top priority to live video posts. This encouraged users to post and jump the algorithm, getting in front of a larger viewership than would be expected with a traditional post. As 2017 rolls in, and video continues to outperform other types of content, I'd expect to see more brands, businesses, and individuals getting in on the action.
One of the main benefits of live video is that it can enhance other types of content without much more effort. Podcasts can set up a camera and go live on YouTube, and staged videos (like our own In The Cave series) can record Facebook Live or Periscope content simultaneously to shooting. All it takes is an extra set of hands, and you'll be reaching a whole new audience.
Expect to see more creative types of content on live video as the mode of communication grows larger.
3. Pinterest Will Go Public
It's a bold prediction, but the hiring of their first ever CFO has me (and many others in the industry) intrigued. Todd Morgenfeld was announced as the CFO in October, after serving as a VP of Finance at Twitter. In the world of Silicon Valley, the hiring of a high caliber finance expert is often the sign that a company is getting its house in order before going public, and we could be witnessing just that.
Pinterest's revenues are continuing to grow, and if the company is even coming close to its $2.8 billion revenue projection for 2018, going public could definitely be a possibility.