5 top social media trends to watch in 2017

From the rise of messaging apps such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger to paying for online posts, here’s what PR and marketing pros should embrace this year.

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Social media is always changing.

In addition to Facebook’s continued algorithm changes, live video, Snapchat’s continued growth and the rise of virtual reality, here are just a few things to look for in 2017:

1. Twitter’s demise. It’s almost time for Twitter to say bye-bye.

Stock is down 29 percent year to date. Top executives, including CTO Adam Messenger, are leaving. User numbers are not growing. Pew Research Center reports 24 percent of online adults use Twitter, up just 1 percent from one year earlier.

When you combine these factors with the fact that Facebook ads perform substantially better than Twitter ads in terms of ROI, you can see why Twitter might not be around much longer.

At its best, Twitter is a real-time conversation platform. When tied to trending events, it’s an engaging platform. However, it simply doesn’t work well for what a lot of brands generate: planned content.

2. The rise of messaging apps. Facebook Messenger enables brands to advertise within it. More than 50 percent of new Snapchat users are over age 25. Nearly one-third (29 percent) of smartphone owners use general-purpose messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Kik.

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