Dark Social

Digital media in 2017 will social media change this year?

What changes can digital marketers expect in 2017?

New media, new forms of social, and the evolving digital landscape.


  1. Dark social and 100 percent mobile apps will become more popular
  2. The rise of voice search
  3. Video will grow to a point where it begins to lose its effectiveness. To quote Gary Vaynerchuk “Marketers ruin everything.”
  4. The rise of social media sites created by youngs and super youngs.

Bonus question
Will people start to leave Facebook?
I did an article about how I plan to use social in 2017. Although this could change, and in fact it already has. I am working on a new article about alternatives to Facebook as I’m experimenting with a few of these social websites. I could simply give you a list and a little history about the different sites, but you can get that a lot of places online. I want to let you know if I find them useful and if I think they would be useful to others.

New Google Plus for everyone on January 24, 2017
In order to make time to explore new sites and crate more content I am going to need to change my workflow on my favorite Facebook alternative, Google Plus. I get a lot of engagement on Google Plus. It’s not uncommon for me to spend over 6 or even 8 hours a day interacting and growing my Google plus communities. I am certainly not complaining, I do enjoy my Google Plus friends. However, at this time I believe I need to make time to create more content and spend just a bit less time curating content. As I write more I have cut the number of hours I spend on the G+ platform.

For me community development has been a passion and a focus ever since the very early days of Google Plus. However, with G+ forcing everyone to the New Google Plus on January 24, 2017 I am reorganizing how I manage and respond to comments and other types of engagement on the platform. I am still committed to the platform, but I think the new UI will change my rather intense workflow.

I don’t think people will leave Facebook, but I do think many will start looking for better content and less noise.
There are some interesting news apps that are coming online to curate news. I believe these are in response to the fake news that was and to some extent still is prevalent on Facebook.

I have notice a decrease in engagement across my social accounts over the last several months. There seems to be an overall  trend of moving from social media sites to mobile platforms. While most social sites have mobile apps, I think some of the old social traffic is moving to mobile first/only platforms. I believe one trend we’ll see in 2017 is the rise of dark social. I imagine that dark social will be more difficult to track than other forms of media.

Prediction 1 is that dark social and mobile only apps will become more popular and social media websites will lose some of their user base.


Dark Social is one change digital social media we can look forward to in 2017
Dark Social is one change digital social media we can look forward to in 2017

Digital personal assistants
We will see an increased number of searches done on digital personal assistants.
With Google, Apple, and Amazon all pushing their personal assistants I think we’ll see an ever increasing rise in the use of these devices for getting answers to life’s questions. Digital assistants will provide opportunities for some websites and businesses. They will also create some unpleasant consequences for others. I don’t think any of us know exactly how voice search will affect our online footprint, but we have some really good guesses. For one thing I believe that it will become an even more competitive environment with only one winner per search. It may be helpful to linguistically seed search terms through branded promotions.
Prediction 2 The rise of voice search

Video will grow in popularity and may reach the saturation point. I believe that 100 percent video content plays/models will reach a point of diminishing returns within 3 years. This will mean that video will be looking for a sustainable business model in the coming years. This could be the year that we see peak-video. I hope I am wrong on this one.
Prediction 3 video will grow to a point where it begins to lose its effectiveness.

Mineral millennials
Businesses will continue to target the under 34 year old demographic and  discount older net citizens. Marketers will treat this group like rare and valuable minerals to be mined and the rest of humanity as the matrix rock that needs to be discarded. There is a trend to love those under 34 and  rather dislike people over that age. I think we will see several social startup created by very young people. I can see this making some sense when they target the younger demographic. But I think we will also see this trend of “youngs are hot olds are not” trying to promote products, services and websites to older adults as well. From what I can see almost all businesses prefer very young celebrities as the ideal archetype for message distribution. Doesn’t everyone believe in and trust the judgement of a 12 year old?
Prediction 4 the rise of social media sites created by youngs and super youngs.

If you would like a free 15 minute, old fashion phone chat to talk about marketing and/or video, just reach out and contact me.
As always I am wishing everyone the very best.
Andrew Ledford
My Google Plus

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