Another year, another chance to kick the internet’s butt.
<Insert your own choice of kick ass emojis here – I’m going with fist pump and sparkling stars, myself>
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where blogging and social media is heading, and where I need to focus more of my efforts in order to keep up, in order to keep creating online content as a living.
And obviously, there’s no right answer. No-one truly knows where the bloggersphere and influencer-sphere (new v important word I’ve just made up spurred on by a large caramel cappuccino) will be this time next year, let alone this time in a decade.
But I thought I’d lay down my predictions for the changes we might see in 2017, just from my own habits and the things I’ve been picking up on during my long should-be-writing-gonna-just-stalk-twitter-and-instagram-and-bloglovin-instead stints.
I’d love to know what changes you guys are expecting to see this year!
I’ll be the first to admit I jumped ship almost immediately from Snapchat over to Instagram stories when the function was launched last year. The Snapchat app was glitchy, crashed my phone, took up loads of space and wasn’t particularly user-friendly, so it made sense to use Instagram stories, especially when LOL I was spending half my waking life on the app anyway. Yes, it hasn’t got any fancy functions and no, I can’t wear a gold crown and make my skin look like an angel’s, BUT, my views are five times what they ever reached on Snapchat.
Whereas I’m often lazy when it comes to watching other people’s weekly vlogs (soz, bad person over here), I could waste hours scrolling through Instagram stories and I think it’s set to become even bigger this year. Expect to see more of your fave ‘grammers getting involved, and more #ad cropping up.
A lot of you fellow bloggers will already have noticed this – growing a following anywhere, be it Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or on your blog, is freakin’ hard. So hard. And it’s only going to get more difficult, but it’s not just for smaller bloggers, it’s for the bigger ones too.
Put it down to tricky algorithms if you want, but my view? I think growth is slowing down because it’s just SUCH a saturated market. If I look at my Instagram follow list, the last 10 people I’ve followed have been over a period of a few months. People just aren’t following the way they used to because their feeds are already so crammed full – they’re not looking for new people, they’ll only follow if they accidentally stumble upon something they really love. To stand out you have to be doing something different, and giving your reader or viewer something to take away – be it a shopping list, a laugh or a feeling of optimism.
Following on from my last point, this is the thing that sets apart accounts I like to follow and accounts I love to follow. Back in the internet golden age you could get away with a cute emoji or ‘beach vibes’ caption and watch the likes roll in, these days people want more. Attention spans are taking people away from reading entire blog posts, but they’ll happily sink their teeth into a whopper of a life catch-up paragraph on Insta.
I’ve started using my Instagram as a place to update people about my day – it’s as much about the words as the image – and, it’s another opportunity to get people to engage with you. A few of my fave accounts for doing this and really hooking me in are @erica_davies and @mother_of_daughters.
This is the year the ‘influencer budget’ flood gates are going to burst open wide and sweet diggity it’s going to be a brilliant time for all you ballin’ creators out there. Expect to see more of your fave faces going full-time, and more designer handbags flying around the web (and more wah bloggers with designer handbags tweets, obvs).
Whilst the PR departments of brands have grasped the size of blogger engagement for years, as with anything new, it takes ages for that to filter up to the big wigs in charge of budget and this year, there’s going to be more money poured into influencers than ever before.
And what’s not to love? Young people starting their own businesses and absolute killing it is so blinkin’ good to see.
There’s nothing new about YouTube, but by the end of this year I predict that nearly every face you follow, whether via blog or Instagram, will have a channel. The reason? Brands are all over video at the moment. One beauty PR actually told me that their entire influencer budget for 2017 was focused on YouTubers rather than bloggers, and if you want your online identity to be a financial success, it’s deemed a smart move to have some sort of following in video too.
The one thing I have noticed is that in general blog readerships are slightly older than YouTube viewerships (because the kids these days watch YT when they get in from school rather than Nickelodeon – WHAT?) so I guess it’s important to keep that in mind.
I like to think this is the year where bloggers will be kinder to each other. I get that in any industry there will always be people who just aren’t, well, very nice, but I like to think that as this industry grows up alongside us, it’ll become gentler, kinder and more supportive.
We’ll share the content we love, we’ll help each other, we’ll shout about the people who are making our days that little bit sparklier with their content, because hey, isn’t the world a nicer place to be without the subtle trolling?
For me this year is about more of the same, saying yes to the good opportunties, not being afraid to say no to the bad ones, and pushing myself when it comes to both my writing and my photography. I also want to work more on my fashion content because I blinkin’ love it and get better at supporting the people I admire!