Shifting Social: The Rise of Private Communication and the Shift of Social Media

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced Mar. 6, his plans outlining a seismic shift in strategy. Facebook will be shifting toward encrypted, private, and ephemeral communication.

Quite the pivot from what Facebook has grown to be.

Zuckerberg mentions how people are increasingly wanting to communicate privately or in smaller groups, instead of “the digital equivalent of a town square”. If you don’t believe him, look at your own group chats and personal conversations compared to your timeline.

Instead of focusing on the kind of publicly shared content that has made Facebook worth hundreds of billions of dollars and haunts you with “On this day” memories, messaging tools could be the next big thing.

We’ve seen the rise of Snapchat with disappearing messages and photos and with that, Zuckerberg says;

“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring out”.

So, what does this all mean for social media?

At the core of this shift, not much will change. People want to communicate privately because “Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.” People will still find public social networks to be important, but for connecting with everyone you know, discovering new people, ideas, and content.

However, with the reduction in news feed views and corresponding revenue, ads are going to shift toward infiltrating messaging apps. Ads will have to work from a general broadcast toward a phone book model of social connection. The main source of revenue will shift to mobile payment systems.

Organic reach will mainly be through stories and video. Since public newsfeeds will dwindle to a carefully curated portrayal of each user, the primary interactions between companies and customers will be messaging, commerce, and service. Stories are a great, personalized, and authentic way to share content and get customers and users to visit your page.

Along with ephemeral content like the stories, Facebook also has an intent to lean hard into video. Videos are easily sharable and consumable content and live videos will become extremely popular.

Overall, marketers should look toward WeChat as the model.

From social connectivity to commerce, the company that Facebook seems to be looking toward is it’s acquired messaging app. WeChat in Asia is extraordinary. It dominates elements of online and real-world life and is basically used to do everything. WeChat weaves together news, entertainment, messaging, commerce, and games into one, mobile-only platform.

What do you think of the new social shift? Let us know in the comments! Give us a call at 720- 446-6640 to learn more and update your digital marketing strategy to reflect these new trends!