Ever since its inception in 2004, Facebook has been continually changing and evolving, and so far 2015 has been a busy year for the popular social network. We are beginning to see the company transition from a social platform showcasing an endless stream of photos from your former high school classmates to a modern media company.
Though the year is only halfway over, there are definitely some trends from 2015 that are worth noting. One of the biggest shifts recently is the rise of video. Auto-play videos were introduced last year, and now more native videos are watched on the platform than YouTube videos.
The introduction of the Social Wallet in March has allowed users to securely transfer money to friends via Facebook Messenger, as well as purchase items directly from the platform.
Due to algorithm changes and decreased organic reach, there has been, and will continue to be, an increase of paid ad budgets. Right now, social media makes up approximately 9% of marketing budgets, but is forecast to rise to 25% by 2020.
For the last few years, marketers have speculated that younger target markets were going to leave Facebook. While this may be true for some, 43% of 12 to 24 year-olds state that Facebook is their most-used network, followed by Instagram with only 18%.
The ability to log into websites using social media credentials has simplified the online world, and prevents the need for hundreds of different usernames and passwords. Facebook is the number one social login used across key verticals.
Facebook’s application diversification has increased drastically over the last few years with the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. According to BrandWatch, 42% of marketers plan to increase their use of Instagram in 2015. WhatsApp has a user base of 700 million, making it the most popular social messaging app.
And, as always, Facebook continues to make it easier for users to control their privacy preferences, forcing marketers to continually get more creative on how to tap into their target audiences.
Facebook has done a good job at not only changing with the times, but also being the innovator and leader in its industry. If the social network continues to stay one step ahead, there is no limit to what the company can become. Remember when Amazon only sold books? Could Facebook be the next big tech company? Time will only tell.