December 19, 2019

2019: The Social Year in Review

by Ellen Mallernee Barnes in News

by Lily Whorl, fellow, Red Havas

Each week, we circulate a staff dispatch we call “Red Hot Social Headlines” to ensure all Redsters remain up to date on the latest and greatest in social media land for our clients. (We also regularly share the top social headlines on our Instagram Story, so please find and follow us there!)

This week, we sent out a special edition of Red Hot Social Headlines—wrapping up the year’s top social news. And this helping of social highlights is worth sharing. Dig in, and enjoy:

Mental health matters

Social media platforms are now taking their users’ mental health into consideration. The plan to eliminate likes on both Instagram and Facebook, coupled with Twitter’s indication that it may follow suit, means that social platforms are striving to weed out users who find personal value in their likes. That’s not all. Instagram has taken proactive measures to ask their users, “Are you sure you want to post this?” before posting a negative comment. It’s fair to expect more mental health initiatives in 2020.  

A stride toward Stories

In 2018, Stories content overtook Feed content and made its appearance on almost every social media site, including Facebook, Instagram and story pioneer Snapchat. By using Stories much more comprehensively than when first introduced, marketers have been able to post more frequently without harming their brand’s image. 

Snapchat stayed relevant 

The struggles have been real for Snapchat. But with odds against its favor, it’s still standing. Striving for greatness in the augmented-reality world, Snapchat launched its Lens Studio this year. By doing so, it opened the opportunity to everyone to create lenses and filters. It has been a big year for Snapchat, with recent key additions such as Cameos and a 3D camera mode. With the creation and implementation of these new exciting tools, Snapchat saw revenue increase 50 percent compared to the prior year, to $446 million in Q3 2019.

TikTok takes off 

We’ve seen TikTok grow at a breakneck pace this year, with more than 800 million monthly users, but what can we expect for the future? One key challenge: 60 percent of TikTok users are based in China, making it difficult for the platform to push through to a global audience. Along with an expected competitive doppelgänger from Instagram, it may experience struggles after Instagram’s Brazilian launch of Reels, a music video remix feature similar to TikTok’s.  

Political ad problems 

Twitter put its foot down this year by banning all political advertisements in response to concerns over misinformation regarding political conversations. Facebook, on the other hand, left a bit more wiggle room for these ads. Facebook states that its approach to political propaganda is grounded in its fundamental belief in free expression. Though these concepts seem straightforward, we can anticipate social media stakeholders to wade into the gray area created by the approach of the 2020 election. 

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