By Denise M. Whitmore  Marketer & Speaker, Founder of , & @SocialGeeksRUs. Live Team. Host of &

1.Live Video

When it comes to Live Video Streaming we’re all still just a little babylike, finding our first footing with this new technology. Yes we’ve had Periscope, Blab, Facebook live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live and their clones but at this point the general public are still far more inclined to post text or imagery than live stream their message. However, I think this will change; the fact that Facebook gives extra ‘air-time’ to Live Video and has an ever decreasing organic reach will see more and more brands utilising Live Video to spread their message.

2. VR / AR

OK so wearing a massive headset isn’t ideal right now but this is the future whether we like it or not. I know we’ve been waiting for this for quite a while and been left with a lot of empty promises but Virtual and Augmented Reality started to truly take off in 2016. Just think back a few months to what our streets looked like; swarmed with people lost in the world on their handheld screens attempting to catch a Bulbasaur. Pokemon Go introduced AR to a mass audience and executed it very well. We already have the Oculus and vTime and although VR & AR may not be the top trend for 2017 in relation to Social Media, I for one am excited to see what brands will do with this new technology.

3. The War on Fake News

There has been a huge crack down on fake news across the social media platforms with Facebook announcing in November that it’s banned fake news websites from using ads. It’s especially been the thorn in the sides of Facebook and Google throughout the US Presidential Election. Regardless of it’s efforts to alter the algorithm, Google’s battle against fake news websites only increased the websites popularity. In a year where ‘post-truth’ was the Oxford Dictionary word of the year it’s no wonder the big platforms will be making this a key target to tackle for 2017.

4. Private Messages

In February 2016 WhatsApp announced it had reached 1 Billion users! Users are turning to private social messages and companies are already starting to take advantage of this increase. Recently, Facebook announced it will allow businesses to advertise to their followers News Feed and direct them to a chat group where they can interact with the customer.

5. AI

Watch the video for Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot and you’ll understand why I’ve added AI to this list . I think you’ll agree with me when I say most people have an urge to speak to a faceless device that answers back. (Thanks Iron Man!) #WANT And if you’d prefer a ‘face’ there’s always Jibo!

So these are my predictions for Social Media for 2017. Now let’s all agree to not look back here in 12 months to see how wrong I was. 😀

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