Trends 17: Facebook 2.0

There is a lot of (digital) ink spilt discussing the fortunes of Mark Zuckerberg’s ubiquitous social network. But the reality is that Facebook is, and will remain for some time, the king of the social media industry. And having won the social media wars to date, it’s clear the Facebook is on the hunt for still more territory to claim as its own.

Outside of China, the vast majority of internet users are engaging with Facebook in some way each month, and this has remained remarkably consistent over time. And while the so-called ‘context collapse’ is certainly a trend to watch, if users are still visiting Facebook in their droves, then ads can be served and profits generated even if people are contributing less content. What’s more, two newer developments on the site are likely to help it maintain engagement while simultaneously boosting its bottom line: video and commerce.

Over half of users on the platform are watching videos, and a fifth are engaging with one of network’s biggest new developments, Facebook Live. And as Facebookers become more and more acclimatized to consuming video on the network, clear opportunities will arise for Facebook to move aggressively into the world of online TV.

There’s even more potential for Facebook in the world of online commerce. In Asia, networks like WeChat and Line have made huge gains from facilitating commerce on their platforms, and if Facebook can properly educate its users about the benefits of social commerce, there’s the clear scope to bring a large portion of Facebookers’ online purchases within the ecosystem of Facebook.

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