Top 10 social trends in 2014: Twitter troubles, mobile upstarts and the ‘dark social’ debacle

11/12/2014

Key trends to check your 2015 plans against:

• Young upstarts breakthrough: Instagram bigger than Twitter as more visual and mobile friendly social networks (SnapChat, Line, WeChat) get user numbers in the hundreds of millions.

• Dark social still untracked: More web content is shared via pasted links in emails that via Facebook and all other social networks combined- but how can brands account for this?

• YouTube and Google+ uncoupled: Google rethinks is social strategy

With chat apps blurring the lines between social media and mobile, the digital marketing landscape just got a whole lot more complicated. With Instagram now bigger than Twitter, China’s giants going international and still many links being shared on untrackable channels like email, marketers need to think beyond Facebook if they want to engage their target audiences. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the top 10 headlines that shaped social media in 2014.

Instagram now bigger than Twitter

Instagram has overtaken Twitter with 300 million users, as Facebook continues to monetise its photo-based social network with new ‘verified accounts’.

Rise of ‘Dark Social’ channels: Just 19% of social sharing occurs on Facebook

Brands are still in the dark about three quarters of their online audience, with new research showing that UK consumers are sharing over three times more information on ‘Dark Social’ channels than via social channels like Facebook.

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Ello gets $5.5 m funding to expand anti-Facebook social network

After securing 1 million users within a month (with 3 million waiting to join) Ello has won multi-million dollar backing on its promise to provide an ad-free privacy friendly alternative to Facebook.

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Nearly half of teens using Snapchat

Nearly half of all teens aged 16-19 are using Snapchat across a number of major western markets, according to new research.

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Controversial social network Ask.fm sold to Tinder-owner IAC

IAC, the digital media giant behind Tinder, Vimeo and Ask.com, has bought annonymous social network Ask.fm.

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Google+ ditches real name requirements for YouTube

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Google has dropped its requirement for people to use their real names on its social networking service Google+ and its video service YouTube, in a move that suggests the web giant is scaling back its social media ambitions.

Chinese web giants Weibo and Alibaba to float on US stock exchange

Two Chinese internet giants, online retailer Alibaba and social network Weibo, both plan to float on stock market, as the country's booming digital industry begins to expand overseas.

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Top 20 social media platforms by region

Active use of social media platforms by region. This chart shows the active users for the top 10 social networks by region. Respondents were asked the question
Top 20 social platforms: Change in active use. This chart shows the change in active users for the top 20 global social networks (excluding China). Respondents were asked the question 'Which of the following services have you used/contributed to In the last month?

Tumblr to become Yahoo’s native ad server

Yahoo will start to use Tumblr as a native ads server, with the popular blogging platform hosting sponsored content from brands, according to a news report.

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How are brands measuring social media success?

The rush for social media engagement metrics, such as ‘likes’, ‘follows’, ‘retweets’ or Google ‘+1s’ has resulted in confusion over how much this social interaction is actually worth to a brand. This infographic, from Google’s Wildfire, looks at how large companies are measuring their social media success.

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