real-time media like snapchat is trendingThis month BoydTech is obsessed with learning more about the what’s and why’s behind some of 2017’s most popular trends. And seeing as how the marketing industry is one of the most trend-filled industries of all, there’s a lot to talk about.

However, this week’s article focuses on one of the fastest-growing trends in today’s digital society: real-time media. What do I mean by that? In my own words, real-time media is when an audience receives the opportunity to witness a moment or event as it’s happening from anywhere in the world. If it makes it easier to understand, you could simply think of it as live media.

Examples of using real-time in today’s media are everywhere online— especially when it comes to video content and social media sites. Apps have also recently hopped on board with this popular trend by adding features like location services and limited viewing experiences. Now, if you’re anything like me, that brings one very specific example to mind: Snapchat.

Snapchat has quickly risen to be one of 2017’s most downloaded, most used apps. And why shouldn’t it be? In a crowded social media world, it still manages to provide users with a unique experience— one that other apps and sites are struggling to compete against.

As most of you probably know, Facebook even recently attempted to incorporate real-time media into it’s platform with the addition of it’s Facebook Live feature. Unfortunately for Zuckerberg, it only made a brief splash in the lives of consumers who ultimately reverted their attention back to apps like Snapchat and Vine fairly quickly. And though the feature still exists on Facebook, the number of users is still continuing to decrease.

But just because Facebook couldn’t keep up with it’s real-time competitors doesn’t mean the trend is dying out. Recreational use aside, the trend has even made it’s way into many businesses. Yep, that’s right— the real-time media trend is still alive and well, and something tells me we’re nowhere near seeing the last of it.

Don’t agree? Here are three reasons I believe real-time media is here to stay (at least for awhile longer)…

1. It keeps the audience actively involved.

facebook live and real-time mediaArguably the most attractive aspect of real-time media is it’s ability to keep an audience actively involved. Whether you’re using a real-time app, site, or feature for personal or professional use, the opportunity to capture and keep attention is there.

For example, Snapchat and Instagram stories disappear after a specific amount of time (in this case, 24 hours). Why is that so important? Because disappearing media keeps people involved in your personal life or brand’s life (depending on which kind of user you are). In an extremely social era, many active technology users have begun to develop a case of FOMO— otherwise known as a fear of missing out. Users are convinced that if they don’t consistently check up on people in their lives, they will miss out on something important or downright entertaining. Fortunately for the business and marketing industries, this includes brands they’re currently loyal to or have been loyal to in the past.

2. You can target specific audience members.

Most real-time media apps and features call for a certain level of segmentation. Unlike sites like YouTube where anyone can find and view your content, real-time media is specific to you and an audience of your choice. This makes the trend more personal and creates a stronger sense of community for the user than the average social media site has been able to in the past.

real-time media has location services3. Real-time media often provides location services.

While some people think that the recent focus on location services is invasive, others have found it extremely useful. Now, I recently decided to opt-out of the location services on apps like Snapchat for personal reasons. However, to many, the feature is considerably valuable. For example, the ability to locate someone in case of an emergency is comforting to many users, such as parents and friends.

In addition, local businessmen and women can use location services to see what people in their target audience are doing on a day-to-day basis. When it comes to understanding your audience, this can be a critical feature.

As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!

—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.

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