Twenty years ago, the first social media site, SixDegrees.com launched. The site allowed users to create profiles, invite friends, organize groups and view other user profiles. Since then, the Dotcom Boom and explosion of accessibility to information (aka what Mark Schaefer calls Content Shock) has created a paradigm shift in how we communicate. Leaning forward into 2017, that shift will continue to propel forward with new trends and changes across the technology landscape.

Some of the culprits behind this shift are listed below.

2017 Digital Trend Predictions

LIVE STREAMING:

The days of filtered and neatly packaged video content are on the outs, while raw, real-time, authentic live streaming is becoming more of the norm. In 2015, we saw Periscope and Meerkat made their debut at the South by Southwest Film and Tech Festival. Twitter quickly jumped on board by acquiring Periscope and adding live streaming to Twitter feeds. The real game changer was when Facebook Live came on the scene, followed by Instagram Stories. In 2017, expect live streaming to dominate more of your news feed whether it be from a concert, sports venue, awards ceremony, or surprise engagement, live video will continue to mature while packaged video will slowly become passé.

AUGMENTED REALITY:

Pokémon GO, anyone? Who would have thought a game from the 90s would come back to life with a facelift? The success behind Pokémon GO and it’s use of augmented reality (AR) is only scratching the surface. 2017 will be a growing year for AR as various brands will throw their names in the pot in search of the same location-based success Pokémon GO demonstrated.

DATA-DRIVEN ANALYTICS:

Ask a marketer 20 years ago the readership of their local periodical and they might provide you a rough guestimate. Ask a marketer in 2017 their readership of their top-blog article and you will have a menu of statistical insights not only revealing the browsing behavior, but also stats like dwell time, drop-off rates for video views, and geographic location of the audience. The data-mining capabilities for today’s marketer is scary, exciting, and insightful all packaged into one glorious report. Don’t be surprised if you begin seeing pay-per-click ads specific to where you are – in real time.

DRONES:

Drones are not new, but what is new about drones is the shift from government to commercial application. Realtors, construction, manufacturing, tourism, film, law enforcement and many others are among many of the industries utilizing drone footage to expedite their processes. Regulations and the cost have also made drones more attainable for many hobbyists. In 2017, drones will become more of a commonality.

drones

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” That adage holds even greater truth when it comes to digital changes in 2017 and beyond. For small business owners looking to raise awareness or honor their brand promise, experimentation and creative implementation by way of live streaming, AR, or drone technology will be key for driving conversion rates and new business acquisition.