With the New Year comes resolutions, fresh starts and, of course, predictions for the year to come. Often, we are left with a nostalgic feeling, a longing to look back on the year previous. 2018, in the world of social media, was somewhat of a triumph. Social networking worldwide saw a 13% rise, accumulating an impressive 3.196 billion users across the various platforms. Although admittedly Facebook may still reign supreme as the King of social media platforms, it wasn’t all bad news for underdog Twitter.
Twitter Predictions for 2019:
The amount of active Twitter accounts rose by 4% in 2018, from 326 million monthly active users to 330 million at the tail-end of last year. In the same period, 42% of Twitter users accessed the site daily, with 24% preferring it weekly or bi-weekly. Mobile users on the site also saw a slight increase, which was up by 4%.
Despite the social networking titans bringing in a revenue of $711 million, that’s a whopping 555 million GBP, and increasing their net worth to $16 billion, 2018 wasn’t all positive for Twitter. When compared with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, the social media site had the lowest interaction rate (Smart Insights, 2018). The network also received criticism for the number of bots on the website, leading to a 60% increase of users who no longer trust social media platforms.
This leads us to the predictions for the networking site in 2019, whether it be ways to improve upon the failures of 2018 or to simply keep up with the times.
It is well known that Twitter is famous for its transnationalism – boasting an impressive 79% international users and more than 40 languages available across the site. As well as this, there are 35 offices in locations around the globe. Could we see higher attention paid to this in 2019? The likeliness of the site adding even more languages and opening more offices is high, especially with the increased interest in Twitter Lite. Launched in 2017, this lighter version of the platform is continuing to allow users in developing countries to send tweets, which have increased in numbers by 50% since its inception.
Reports on the top 5 social media trends for 2019 revealed that messaging platforms and applications are slowly taking over the world. The top five messaging apps, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ, and Skype, had a higher combined number of users than the traditional social media platforms at the end of the previous year. Messaging apps saw over 5 billion users in 2018, compared with just over 3 million across the original networking sites. With 80% of active Twitter users accessing the site on a mobile and 93% of videos on the platform is viewed the same way, could we see a Twitter messaging app emerging in 2019? Facebook has already done it, so what’s stopping more networks doing the same?
If this wasn’t conclusive enough, more evidence for the further development of multiple Twitter applications comes in the form of the platform’s highest represented demographic. 36% of users on the site are aged between 18 and 29. This, linked with the statistic of 58% of Twitter users using applications, is all the more reason for a messaging app to be trialed in the upcoming year.
On the topic of additional applications, 74% of Twitter users say they use the site for news. This is a 15% increase from the previous year and ranks the platform as the highest for news content (Hootsuite, 2018). The site may choose to act upon this, creating a new app specifically for news content. Alternatively, they may make news a higher priority on the original application. Either way, we can expect Twitter news to be a strong theme in 2019. With this in mind, an easier way to share news from the platform, potentially a new share button, may creep its way into the new year.
Twitter ad engagement is also on the up, increasing steadily year-on-year, with pricing for ads decreasing. In 2018, the social network saw advertising revenue a total of $545 million, a growth of 6% (OMNICORE, 2018). 50% of social media users state they want a more personalized experience; will individual advertising take a front seat role in 2019? 85% of business owners with a Twitter account emphasize the importance of using the network for customer service. With this in mind, it is possible we could see a Twitter marketplace introduced this year. Facebook and Instagram have both already taken advantage of this, Twitter – the ball’s in your court.
In 2018, live videos and Instagram stories took over the social media world. This year may see Twitter prioritize their live video aspect, as well as introduce stories to their network. Story updates on social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat are an interactive way to reach more followers.
Leading on from this, as 70% of the time spent on social media is done so through a mobile phone, it is likely that we will see a lot more of vertical videos, perhaps following the example of Instagram’s IGTV.
There is a lot for Twitter to think about for 2019. Although the last year wasn’t necessarily a bad one, more social networks are building and expanding, leaving Twitter in their wake. An innovative change is needed to truly ignite the social media outlet. Whether that be expanding their international reach, creating sister-applications for messaging or news, making a more accessible marketplace for advertising or introducing Twitter Stories, here’s hoping for a year proving the bird isn’t quite so old yet.
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