2017 Social Media Highlights

by Harry Gardiner

21st December 2017

Wow, what a year it’s been. It’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. Part of me thinks we’ll reach midnight on December 31st, only to snap back to the beginning of the year; like some kind of nightmarish, Groundhog Day fever dream.

But we’re on the homestretch. With 2018 looming just around the corner, let’s take a look back at what this year had to offer in terms of notable social media moments.

Watch our video highlights here, and then read our full roundup below.

Instagram

2017 has truly been a year of growth for Instagram. Gaining more than 200m monthly active users in just one year, Instagram Stories rapidly surpassed Snapchat Stories. Although the original still has a loyal fanbase (Snapchat Stories has 166 million active users at the time of writing), Instagram has proved that first doesn’t always mean best, and turned their clone feature into an integral part of the platform.

YouTube

Whatever your thoughts on the divisive 2017 Rewind video, it’s hard to deny that YouTube has had a stellar year in terms of user growth. Early in June it was announced that YouTube had reached over 1.5 billion logged-in users each month, and less than two months later it celebrated with a fresh rebrand, revealing a brand new logo for the first time, ever.

Snapchat

Snap Inc has had a roller coaster of a year. The brand’s launch of Snapchat Spectacles failed to have the impact that was expected, and the company was forced to deny rumours of a shutdown after reporting poor revenue and user growth in its third quarter.

However, on the user front, Snapchat has gone from strength to strength. It has fully embraced the use of AR, even going so far as to offer its Lens Studio freely to creators. Earlier this year it launched the Snap Map, an interactive map that makes it even easier to discover what’s going on around you, and what your friends are up to.

Twitter

Talking of rocky years, Twitter has had to deal with a wealth of controversy around protecting its users throughout the year, even going so far as to change its rules in an attempt to reduce the spread of alt-right hate (yay 2017).

Whilst it did increase its character limit, the platform that specialises in outspoken users (looking at you Mr President) also came under fire early in the year when it closed its popular 6 second video app, Vine. Although the camera mechanic was incorporated into the channel’s main platform, it will still be sorely missed.

Facebook

It’s time to start printing those Zuckerberg 2020 flyers, as despite being barraged with fake news and Russian-bought advert allegations all year, then admitting that it might actually be bad for you, Facebook announced that it surpassed 2 billion monthly active users this year.

To put that in context, that’s over a quarter of the world’s population. A staggering amount of people and brands sharing updates on a daily basis.

Moving forward

So, what can we learn from 2017 to make your social marketing even more effective next year?

For starters, if social media platforms cloning each other’s features has taught us anything, it’s that you should always be on the lookout for social trends, but don’t jump on the bandwagon straight away. Don’t apply yourself to something that doesn’t actually benefit, or fit, with your brand. Which leads us nicely on to our next point.

When it comes to social advertising, focus on where your audience (and maybe more importantly, the people who influence them) are, not where you want them to be. Facebook remains (for now), an incredibly safe bet, and it’s hyper-specific targeting features make it an ideal way to reach the relevant people.

But what about the other platforms? If your fanbase is constantly tweeting their thoughts and feelings, then Twitter advertising may be an intelligent way to reach them. YouTube has cleaned up and refined its pre-roll advertising to make it even more impactful. Facebook’s latest ad platform updates also make it ridiculously easy to cross promote on Instagram, allowing you to track performance and see which media resonates best, and where.

Most of all, don’t be afraid to branch out next year, explore new avenues and social advertising methods, and adopt new techniques.