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Annual roundup - 2018’s Social Media reviewed

Written by Mark Shpungin - Dec 22 2018
We’re just as excited as you are for the end of the year (partly our Christmas video is at fault).

But before we jump into 2019, we feel it’s important to take a look back at 2018 and acknowledge its importance for Social. First, we’ll look at the medium’s own retrospectives, then give our own predictions for 2019. Let’s go!


Released in early December, Facebook’s year in review smartly skips any mentions of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its subsequent influence on the platforms privacy policy (think GDPR, but on a global scale). Instead, Facebook provides an overview of the most-talked-about social issues (March for Our Lives, Civic Engagement), cultural events (the Royal Wedding, FIFA World Cup) and prominent public figures. Given Facebook's push towards video, we wonder if they will start including top videos in their annual roundups in the future.

Mark Zuckerberg can be happy with the platforms’ total ad revenue increase of 20% compared to 2017 - continuing to grow exponentially ever since 2014. Still, this hasn’t helped the overall platform’s performance much, as for the first time we have seen a decrease in Monthly Active Users in Europe, while the year-to-date stock prices have dropped by 27%.

You can watch your year in review here.

Instagram has had a calmer year compared to its Big Brother (pun intended). The platform has released a statement focusing on the most used face filters, giphy stickers in stories and other softer insights. We, on the other hand, are quite impressed by the platform’s growth in what it has to offer to advertisers - from introducing a long-form video sharing format in IGTV to neat features such as shoppable tags in Stories, to cracking down on inauthentic activity (bye-bye bots).
By the time you’ve read this sentence, the Instagram like button has been tapped nearly 150,000 times, thanks to a massive 1bln monthly active user base. Beyond that, Instagram should be attractive to advertisers as an effective conversion tool. What will 2019 bring? We expect to see more brands turning to IGTV and subsequent growth of long-form video influencer marketing. 


#thishappened. Twitter has shared their review..well, in a tweet! They’ve kept it short & sweet, in line with the platform’s format, sharing the most quotedthe most retweeted and the most liked tweets of the year.

It’s very interesting to witness an overlap of the popular topics across the platforms. K-pop was all the rage on Instagram, YouTube and especially twitter - with Korean pop band @BTS_twt receiving the most mentions.

We’re also impressed by the platforms’ consistent revenue growth in 2018. Despite all the whispers, Twitter is alive and well.

Gone are the days of Rebecca Black going through top ten videos of the year. This year’s rewind has become the most disliked video on YouTube, surpassing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ by a whopping 3 mln dislikes. Part of it stems from the platform’s massive growth - there are now over 5000 channels with over a million subscribers and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to include everyone in the rewind, therefore some are bound to be left out.

Specifically, users were upset by the fact that the KSI vs Logan Paul fight and T-Series vs Pewdiepie were nowhere to be seen, despite being some of the biggest topics on the platform this year. Being an advertising platform, YouTube had to play it safe and decided not to include them due to the controversy surrounding both YouTube stars.  Marques Brownlee nicely broke down his problems with the Rewind in this video.

On the other hand, the backlash is a symptom of the growing frustration with the platform by the creators and the community. The general sentiment is that YouTube has become increasingly corporate, as the updated monetization rules prioritise family-friendly content creators. We have seen a lot of YouTubers turning to merchandise sales and Patreon for an alternative revenue stream.
This makes us wonder what 2019 will bring - if Facebook makes Watch attractive for content creators, we expect to see a lot of YouTubers turning to that platform.

Top predictions for Social of 2019

  • Death of Snapchat: Snap share price has fallen by 62.7% in 2018. We see the platform trying to re-invent itself while also working on a more attractive proposition to advertisers, but we predict that Snap as we know it may die in 2019.
  • Facebook ads will become more expensive: With increased advertising spend combined with a rocky year, one way Facebook could increase security is by raising advertising prices. While risky, we definitely see this as a possibility in 2019.
  • Chatbots & AI will become more common: They might not be taking over the world (yet), but with advances in AI & Chatbot technologies, we expect to see the technology continue advancing and becoming more commonplace, especially within online customer services.
  • New faces? This year has been unusual as every major Social Network (with LinkedIn as an exception) has seen some form of controversy or backlash. Whether this means that a new network will emerge or the existing ones will create a drastically new proposition to its users remains to be seen, but we’re excited for what’s to come! 

2018 has been a wild one! What stood out to you? What are your predictions for 2019? Let us know and feel free to get in touch with us: