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The top social trends for 2015

Yes it's that time of year again, where we looking back over the past year in an attempt to predict in the hyper world of social.

Here are four trends we think are worth keeping in mind as we ease into 2015.

1. Pay to play

As social networks continue to grow, real estate is becoming scarcer and more expensive.

Facebook's growth means organic reach is shrinking as advertising prices rise. Consider that Facebook advertising rates have increased 10% in 2014. Don't expect this trend to reverse anytime soon.

2. Real time marketing (and TV)

Events like the Super Bowl show how marketers can leverage real time events into conversations and conversions.

While Twitter currently has all sorts of services allowing brands to target users based on TV and real time habits, now Facebook is getting in on the act.

We predict a major Facebook TV announcement (ie original programming) in May, and a general increase in the the ways brands reach out to customers across trends – every minute of the day.

3. Video

While 2014 might have been the year video advertising arrived (on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr), 2015 is shaping up as the period it matures.

Netflix now accounts for 30% of US web traffic, while YouTube remains the second largest search engine in the world. 

With most phones on 4G and data speeds increasing, expect to see a sharp rise in online videos (both paid and organic) in the next 12 months.

4. Anonymity

Anonymity might just be the new buzzword of 2015. Earlier this year Ello debuted using a unique point of difference: you had to score an invite to sign up. 

Not only that, but Ello pledged to remain ad-free and never sell user data to third parties. More recently WhatsApp announced plans to encrypt billions of its messages.

Expect privacy to loom large for the platforms in 2015.

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