Demonstrating American’s growing interest in survival skill-based entertainment, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” could teach the social media space a thing or two about survival. Perhaps more than ever before, 2015 will be survival of the fittest. Innovation will play a pivotal role for everyone as the strategic game to acquire more ad dollars becomes increasingly difficult.
Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, and others will furiously play catch-up with Facebook’s features and ad targeting. Facebook itself will struggle to monetize Instagram in a manner that will not anger the millennial gods and incur the generation’s wrath. A record number of reports claiming the Facebook era is over will surface claiming the platform’s time has come and gone, but let’s face it: we are creatures of habit and enjoy sharing our lives with our networks, so any platform that allows us to connect behind our chosen device will endure.
And Facebook is clearly not going down without a fight; only 13 days into the New Year and the company already has two acquisitions under its belt. For you chess players out there, think of the “stonewall attack” in Facebook’s efforts to control the board. This race with Google won’t come close to resolution in 2015; checkmate is a long, long way off.
A long-shot prediction but one worth considering: what if Google (collective gasp) bought Facebook? Why might this happen? The “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” adage definitely started echoing when Facebook pulled its search listings from Bing last quarter; they are clearly walking this road alone or seeking alliances elsewhere. And let’s face it: Google has all but failed to do anything remotely successful in the social space (for you die-hard Google+ fans out there, it’s time to just admit defeat).
Mobile App Install Ads will become a question of “how much budget to allocate” instead of a “let’s test this ad unit.” Re-targeting along with deplaning will continue to provide value from the user’s perspective, and deep linking will aid conversation rates contributing to incremental revenue dollars across several verticals.
As for the video lay of the land…watch out, YouTube. Riding mobile’s coat-tails to increased adoption by brands and media buyers, Facebook video is graduating from a pawn to bishop status, generating more than 1 billion video views per day on Facebook alone. And Twitter’s recently promoted video beta garnered positive feedback from brands and advertisers — although Twitter betas have historically performed well until introduced into the mainstream and dramatically increased competition, when the picture changes.
So as the game unfolds, time will prove if strategies hold and who will have the privilege of saying “check-mate”.
Dayna Moon joined 3Q Digital in March 2014. Her career began in SEM and Media Planning at Responsemine, an interactive agency based in Atlanta leading the management of accounts such as Home Depot and Hallmark. Prior to joining 3Q, she held senior positions at AOL and AdParlor, an sPMD and Twitter API Partner. She can be found after-hours out with Diesel, her golden retriever scouting for the “perfect spot.” She is a native of Savannah, GA, and a big college football fan.