2018 Social Media Trends that will Continue to grow in 2019


Live Video

Live video was huge in 2018 and will continue to grow in 2019. The live video feature is now a standard fixture of most social media platforms, available on Facebook and Instagram to name a few. According to Vimeo’s research into live streaming, 78% of online audiences are watching video on Facebook live and this is predicted to grow in the year to come.

The increase in live video content could be linked to the rise in a need for authentic and real interactions, rather than scripted and scheduled social posts that feel hollow. Vimeo found 80% of audiences would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% would rather watch a live video than see a social post. YouTube has tapped into this idea with the Premier feature that they launched in 2018. This allows users to schedule videos in advance and notify their subscribers so they can sit and watch the content together. This feature also includes a chatroom specific to the video, so viewers can interact about the content with each other and the creator in real time. We predict that live video will continue to grow in 2019, with heavy emphasis being placed on real interaction and authenticity.

Ephemeral Content

Closely linked with the rise of live streaming is the prevalence of ephemeral content on social media. Ephemeral content refers to the kind that exists only for a short period of time before being removed from your profile – normally a 24 hours wind. This was first pioneered by SnapChat, but as is often the case with successful features in social media, it can now be found on nearly every platform. Instagram, Facebook and YouTube all offer a form of the Story format. The popularity in ephemeral content could again be linked to the desire to see the ‘real’ side to people on social media, and with this the real side to brands as well. Ephemeral content is more forgiving as a form of content generation as your mistakes don’t stay around anywhere near as long, and they often have a more organic feel.

VidMob found in 2018 that over 70% of Instagram and SnapChat users watch Stories on both platforms daily, and we predict this to grow to even more in 2019. With this increase of user base naturally comes an increase in ad possibilities. Story ads are now a firm fixture of a social media marketing campaign for many. With this comes a rise in both shorter videos and the vertical video format to take advantage of this avenue. We predict the few social media platforms left without this feature – i.e. Twitter and LinkedIn – will end up jumping on board very soon and that ephemeral content will continue to grow in 2019.  

Augmented Reality

Social is getting more technical with a huge range of augmented reality options available on a variety of platforms. Most commonly found in Stories, these filters are based on cues from the real world such as movement or sound to promote a specific response. Whilst this kind of feature has been around for a while, 2018 saw a jump in options available and we predict it’ll continue in 2019. And where there is a jump in technology, the advertising opportunities are often not far behind. Already this year, we’ve seen voice activated paid ads on SnapChat with the Shazam! filter in connection with the April release of the movie. Burger King has also launched an ad that allows users to ‘set fire’ to competitors ads and replace them with the Burger King ad within the filter.

We predict this will become more commonplace, with brands having plenty of opportunities to showcase their creativity with how these can be applied. Virtual reality is the next big technological advancement to go mainstream and we predict that towards the end of 2019, we will see this being integrated into social media more too.

The underlying message of most trends in social over the past twelve months has been a draw to the authentic and real. With scandal headlines surrounding huge social giants like Facebook every other week, there is a desire to tap back into grassroots local feeling. We predict this will continue in general in 2019, and it’ll be this underlying trend that shapes how all the other trends go.