FACEBOOK & TWITTER'S NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
When we think about the platforms that truly encourage social conversations and having exchanges online, Facebook and Twitter are the dominant players that first come to mind. And perhaps because of this function, the two have seen many controversial ups and downs in 2019. Therefore it may come as no surprise that in 2020 both have put the topics of political speech, freedom of expression, and personal security at the forefront of the year’s agenda.
A CLOSER LOOK AT MARK ZUCKERBERG’S SOCIAL MEDIA AMBITIONS
- Empower the next generation and ergo bolster the chances of creating a better future through the young entrepreneurs, scientists, activists. Could this be a nod to the growing ‘woke’ culture that has already put climate change, social equality and other campaigns into the mainstream through the use of social channels to create awareness?
- New private social platforms – as opposed to the current trends of public posting where private life and public can often blur – especially in the case of high profile celebrities, businessmen or even politicians. Zuckerberg envisions that within the next 5 years Facebook will evolve “to give us [a} sense of intimacy again”.
- More opportunities for businesses of all sizes – Zuckerberg: “If we can make it so anyone can sell products through a storefront on Instagram, message and support their customers through Messenger, or send money home to another country instantly and at low cost through WhatsApp – that will go a long way towards creating more opportunity around the world.”
- The future of Facebook is in VR & AR – The company has already invested a lot into the development of virtual and augmented reality technology (see their Oculus VR & Orion AR glasses project), and now so more than ever we can expect this to become the next advancement in computer technology, but it’s still early days in 2020.
- New forms of governance – Finally Zuckerberg touched on the company’s biggest conundrum which is how to govern a platform which on one hand promotes free expression whilst balancing safety, and defining the line between privacy and law enforcement.
So what’s our take on this?
Exactly how much of Mark Zuckerberg’s aspirational speech will come true is yet to be seen, but it’s interesting to already note which direction the company that also owns Instagram, Whatsapp and Snapchat plans to head towards.
Moreover, with this new year resolution/10-year agenda, the recent radical overhauls of 2019 such as the removal of Instagram likes, Instagram Threads (messenger) and Facebook company logo rebrand can now make more sense in retrospect. It’s likely in 2020 we will be facing more curveballs and changes to the way we conduct social campaigns and communicate with consumers as Facebook shuffles up its priorities.
TWITTER ANNOUNCES NO MORE RETWEETS, BUT MORE OPTIONS OF POSTING & PRIVACY
Speaking at the Las Vegas CES conference, Suzanne Xie unveiled innovations around the conversations mechanics are currently in Beta testing and are expected to become live in the first quarter of the year. The changes will give users more control over who they tweet to, who can view those tweets and who can respond to their thread.
The new options are “Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.”
- Global lets anybody reply, as per the current Tweet defaults
- Group is for people users follow and mention,
- Panel allows only people specifically mentioned in the tweet to respond
- Statement simply allows a user to post a tweet and receive no replies
Additionally, a surprising announcement was that retweets will soon cease to exist. The reasoning being that although popular, the mechanic is outdated and rather counterintuitive to the companies overall purpose of “serving healthy public conversation”. The example being the possibility of an unintended tweet going viral without the possibility of retrieval. Perhaps this is the beginning to the end of Jure Kepic’s comical statement, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; what happens on Twitter stay on Google forever!”
WHERE DOES THIS ALL LEAVE US FOR 2020?
With Facebook and Twitter prioritising public safety, privacy and data security the two have also highlighted where their respective platforms are headed towards.
For Facebook we can expect to see a shift towards more intimate channels of communications, for digital marketing this could see more use of Messenger and Groups function mixed with more personalized and tailored communications. Communicating to a specific audience rather than generic, mass messages.
Whereas on Twitter we can already see the opportunity for activations such as broadcasting a live conversation between a panel of influencers or experts on a specific topic which the public can view but not chime in on – unless they create another trending topic out of this closed panel conversation- much like a television panel, but through tweets. Twitter users will also be able to express themselves more freely and more intimately through choosing what they say to be seen by groups of people. Overall it seems that the marketing trend of more personalised, tailored and end user-specific communication will continue to amplify across 2020.