As the new year begins, PerformanceIN continues its annual tradition of connecting with performance marketing experts to get their single biggest prediction for the industry in 2017.

In this piece, Samuel Redding, client strategy director, UK at Adaptly, explains why he thinks video will continue to be popular on social media platforms.

Video in social media continued to evolve in 2016 and is set to break yet new ground in the coming year. A combination of new players and innovation has seen a change in consumer behaviour as well as brands more readily embracing the medium.

In 2017, live video will continue to push budgets away from traditional channels like television, especially as new types of shows and live entertainment emerge. For example, Twitter recently partnered with BuzzFeed to cover the final night of the US elections, taking the place of more conventional news channels such as CNN and BBC. And as social platforms develop their real-time content offers, we will see more companies taking advantage of this new form of online broadcast mechanism.

Twitter has long been the go-to platform for live events with its ability to bring user content and real-time video together, offering viewers comprehensive coverage without forcing them to split time between screens. By placing related tweets and trending content alongside the action, Twitter is consolidating all relevant game time content in one place. And through its partnerships with several major sports leagues and TV networks, Twitter has every bit the potential to integrate its offer with smart TV and sport league applications, offering an even greater viewing experience by bringing fans closer to the heart of real-time content.

2016 was also the year Facebook made its live broadcasting feature available to all users, and in 2017 I expect to see a significant increase in advertising spend on boosting live stream coverage on the platform. Video has long been one of the vital elements of social media marketing, especially for building brand awareness, and we will see businesses utilise Facebook Live for branding purposes by engaging users in current events.

Snapchat has proved to be an enormous hit with UK users and businesses alike, and is set to keep on thriving as a new and exciting advertising platform. Real-time communication focused on in-the-moment and live content is likely to see an increase in advertising spend across all verticals, ranging from lenses and filters to video Snap Ads. As it continues to develop its publisher section, Discover, the platform is taking further steps towards diversifying into not only a messaging app, but also a dedicated media distributor.

Alongside this, 2017 is set to usher in a new era of social video, even more focused on improving the user experience. Vertical video formats will lead the charge, inspiring companies to use creative assets that drive actions lower down the funnel. Vertical video maximises the impact on mobile – 100% share of screen real estate – allowing advertisers to deliver a fully-immersive viewing experience.

One of the key innovators in this area is Snapchat, which introduced vertical video to the masses and thereby solved a problem most consumers – and advertisers – didn’t even know they had. The growing consumption of media on mobile, particularly by millennials, has led to significant shifts in the market and as such, the vertical video trend will continue to evolve in a dramatic and rapid fashion. The format is naturally more engaging because it’s taking up the entire screen, attracting and retaining attention for longer. Consequently, we are likely to see deeper engagement and a better user experience, ultimately resulting in happy advertisers.

And as for the next generation of video, Snapchat’s recent launch of Spectacles, a set of video-capturing sunglasses, has come to exemplify the company’s dedication to video and extension into hardware and augmented reality. This is further supported by the launch of World Lenses, a feature allowing users to overlay 3D effects not only to their faces but also to the surrounding environment in photos and videos. 

As the platform continues to develop its offer, it will be interesting to follow the implications for video as a social advertising format in the year to come.