Think Forward 2017: We Are Social’s trends to watch

Social Thinking
It’s that time of year again. Predicting the future. We have recently completed our second annual Think Forward report – an in-depth analysis of the big trends that we believe will shape digital and social in the next 12 months.

Predicting the future is never easy, so we worked with Trendwatching and built our predictions based on current growing trends that are already impacting our lives today. 

You can read the report in full on Slideshare, and there’s a sneak peek of some of our trends below. Check back in 12 months to see how accurate we were but in the meantime, get comfy and start futureproofing your brain with Think Forward 2017.

Trend One: Chatbots and the rise of instant interaction
We love a chatbot – so much so that a few months ago we launched one for Domino’s Pizza. Some other notable additions to the chatbot world include DoNotPay, which helps people to contest parking tickets, and Trulia, which helps you see through estate agent spin about neighbourhoods.

The real secret to success is ensuring chatbots fulfil a practical need. Just like any other social channel, chatbots need to serve a real purpose and make life simpler for consumers. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be on to a good thing.  

Trend Two: Facilitating intimacy
Technology should bring us closer, but in reality, it can help people to drift apart. Liking a friend’s Facebook photos is not the same as popping around for a cup of tea, after all. But a number of new innovations are coming, designed to bring people closer. Pillowtalk, for example, is a wristband that allows long-distance lovers to fall asleep to the sound of each other’s heartbeat.

Playing in this field means having a really strong understanding of how people interact and what the right role for your brand could be. It’s essential to win trust if consumers are to let you enter this private and personal space.

Trend Three: Helpful voyeurs
Voyeurism used to be a bit of a dirty word, but as people have put more and more of their personal lives onto their social feeds, it has become far more acceptable to be openly interested – and involved in – in the intimate lives of others. Nattr, Boompi and Crowdpilot all work by crowdsourcing opinions on personal matters. Nattr allows users to get advice for witty texts to send to potential dates; Boompi specifically allows women to invite girlfriends to comment on conversations with date matches and Crowdpilot actually allows a group of friends to listen to your phone conversations and then offer advice.

This is a controversial area, so brands interested in getting involved should tread very carefully, and ensure that anything they get involved with does not breach privacy laws.  One thing is for certain – this trend is only set to continue.  

Want to know more? You’ve got it! Follow our blog for more in-depth innovation reports, or keep an eye on our Events page to stay in the loop on future launches and seminars. 

To request a hard copy of Think Forward, email [email protected]