10 biggest trends to watch: Why “Passive Networking” could hit big messaging apps

Feb 13, 2017 | Mobile, WhatsApp

The major messaging apps are set to be hit by “passive networking” in 2017 as additional functionality puts off some users, according to GlobalWebIndex, home of the world’s largest ongoing study on the digital consumer. The Trends 17 Report – researched and written by expert analysts at GlobalWebIndex– warned that this year so-called “context collapse” […]

The major messaging apps are set to be hit by “passive networking” in 2017 as additional functionality puts off some users, according to GlobalWebIndex, home of the world’s largest ongoing study on the digital consumer.
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The Trends 17 Report – researched and written by expert analysts at GlobalWebIndex– warned that this year so-called “context collapse” could spread from the major social media to messaging apps as they add functionality – and users stop engaging.
GlobalWebIndex Trends Analyst Katie Young says: “Back in 2012, the average internet user had about three social media/messaging accounts – now the figure is closer to seven”, meaning that the arrival of “varied and specialised services has impacted how networkers are interacting with social media”.
Young states: “One result of this has been a so-called ‘context collapse’, whereby users are becoming less and less likely to share personal updates on some of the bigger networks.” And she fears the big messaging apps will be “vulnerable to the same trend” – and says this places the app companies in a quandary.
Young explained: “Although the path to monetization requires a platform to open up more functionalities, it is clear that moving more towards a feature-heavy service like that adopted by Snapchat runs the risk of encouraging more passive behavior among users.
“The ‘context collapse’ might have started on major social networks, but its next stop could be messaging services.”
The Trend 17 report is summarised and downloadable in full at: https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/the-10-biggest-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2017
In the 60-page report, GlobalWebIndex CEO Tom Smith writes about “six core trends that define this era” – and the expert analysts identify 10 key trends to watch in 2017.
As well as passive networking impacting major messaging apps, Trends 17 predicts:
● A “mobile-first landscape” is fast approaching, with brands that fail to prioritise mobile running the risk of missing key opportunities and jeopardising their relationships with younger consumers;
● India, the Philippines and Indonesia are poised to become the big new markets for smartphones;
● Marketing could move closer to gaming – as spectator gaming gains traction. GlobalWebIndex data showed that “one in four users have watched a live gaming stream in the past month”;
● Facebook Marketplace could take off, bridging the “ever-present gap between research and purchase”;
● An “explosion of video” content on social media will make a major impact on marketing strategy in 2017;
● Consumers have been empowered by the rise of the ad-blocker with the “online community becoming less open to interruptive advertising”, meaning marketers and advertisers need to take a new approach, bringing us closer to the “consumer-driven, content-powered world of marketing than ever before”;
● Mobile ad-blocking will spread from Asia to the West, meaning mobile advertising will need to shift to “less interruptive messaging and more relevant content”;
● Mobile could be the big winner as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR & AR) take off with consumers – 40 per cent of whom have already expressed an interest in using VR headphones; and
● Snap could kick-start the wearable technology revolution after dipping its toe into the water with Snapchat Spectacles – sunglasses which record video snippets which automatically save to the user’s Snapchat Memories. The device uses a 115-degree lens that mimics how humans see.

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