I made some predictions last year about social media in 2016. Some of them came true, some are on the way. Here is what I think will happen in 2017.

Live video streaming is ever changing. All the social networks are scrambling to own the video space. Broadly speaking video is the big prediction. If you want to be ahead of the game, build a content video team for social media.

Twitter Live

Twitter is finally catching up and making live streaming from it’s native app much simpler and smarter. It’s still branded as Periscope but you don’t need the Periscope app anymore to broadcast from. Check out my Twitter live video of ‘One important update to your website you may need to make in 2017’ here.

Prediction: Twitter is way behind the eight ball here, but it because of the real-time nature it still has the advantage in areas like sports and news. If it can make some smart plays here it can leap-frog Facebook.

Instagram Live

While it is still only available in the USA I expect that it will be rolled out sooner rather than later for the rest of us. The unique thing about this is that the live video isn’t available for replays which means the live experience will be even more important for people to tune into. Otherwise they will miss out!

Prediction: Instagram will keep bloating its functionality to try and match Snapchat and any other younger networks. Instagram Live will grow but not to the same extent as it is on Facebook.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live has had the advantage of being first for nearly a whole year. Many people I know are using it. Every single month they are adding subtle updates to its functionality. If you haven’t used it yet get on board before they throttle back its reach. Read more about the 11 different ways I’ve seen churches use Facebook Live here.

Facebook released a super cool update feature for the live video. Facebook Live 360. What I love about this idea is that it is much more immersive. This is a major update and points towards their development in augmented reality (AR) and making that more seamless with a social experience in the future. Read more here. Watch the first ever Facebook Live 360 video here that National Geographic did.

Facebook has also just released Facebook Live Audio. More on that here.

Prediction: AR will merge eventually with Live/recorded streaming/vision to create an immersive experience. I don’t think this will happen in 2017 but it will come very quickly once TV companies and web TV on demand companies figure out a way to monetise it. Eg. Think being in the ball game and choosing a player. It may cost you a dollar or two extra to choose your favourite player. Or think church online and checking out a church and actually being inside the church through AR. Again I don’t think this will happen this year, but it will come.

Check out these eleven examples of churches using Facebook Live right now.

The bottom line

I think the explosion of live social video means that churches have a genuine opportunity to reach their local communities through social media. The person that has never visited your church can actually check you out in their social media feed. Amazing.

How will this change where you put your media human and technical production resources?

Will you invest intentionally create a service that isn’t just ‘sanctuary/auditorium’ focussed?

Curious about my 2016 predictions? I reckon I did quite well, but make up your own mind. Read them here.

Your turn

What trends do you see? Disagree or agree with anything I’ve said? Got questions? Comment below. I love hearing what people think is coming!