What are the Social Media Predictions for 2017?

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Last year, I wrote about what to expect in the social media front for the year 2016 and some of the predictions came true. We are in a new year and it is time to come up with a list of what might become the headlining trends on the social media landscape.

Fake news

This is a big problem in social media since a huge chunk of Internet users rely on these networks for their source of news. There was an expose recently which highlighted how fake news was being peddled across Facebook and the company went ahead to post a list of steps they are willing to take to stem out the rot.

The fake news problem manifested itself very well during the US Presidential elections and it can rear its ugly head during this year’s General Election. It will be critical to identify these fake news sources so that to prevent malicious information from being passed to the general public through the various social networking sites Kenyans use.

Facebook will continue copying Snapchat

Snapchat, the ephemeral social network has become Facebook’s muse of late thanks to the numerous features it has able to clone for its apps (Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp). The company is not yet done as there are some features they have not implemented on their suite of apps like the cool Geofilters (even the custom ones).

Social media users in Kenya are growing exponentially

Recently, BAKE released the State of the Internet In Kenya Report  which revealed that there is growth in the number of users in the various popular social accounts and in the registration of blogs. Facebook and Twitter recorded significant growths in the number of new Kenyan users registered (41% and 214% respectively) and and with a country that has over 37 million Internet users, there is still a long way to go to.

Blogs will take center stage in Kenya this year

Still on the State of Internet In Kenya report, it revealed an interesting trend: There was a drop in readership in political blogs by 47%. Nevertheless, I still expect to see an increase in the number of political blogs as we approach the General Elections which is scheduled to be held in August this year.

Internet disruptions

In 2016, we saw various countries disrupting the connection to the world wide web due to various reasons like elections, exams or an emergency. Countries that disrupted Internet access due to elections were Gambia and Uganda while Ethiopia was reported to block Internet access due to exams and later on an emergency in the country.

The United Nations passed a resolution which acknowledged that the disruption of Internet access by governments is a violation of human rights. However, it is non binding, which means we will still see countries blocking Internet access to its citizens for various reasons this year.

We might have a Vine case

Vine was one social network that was loved by its users and Twitter’s decision to shut it down shocked many. Although the app will now be repurposed as a camera app, the idea of such a network being shut down abruptly makes you realize that they can be brought down if the network is unsustainable.

Can you think of social networks that can be shut down this year? (I can think of one: Peach)

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