Adaptly Execs Share Their 2017 Predictions

With the first work week of 2017 in the books, top executives at social media advertising agency Adaptly shared their thoughts on what the rest of the year will bring.

With the first work week of 2017 in the books, top executives at social media advertising agency Adaptly shared their thoughts on what the rest of the year will bring.

The rise of social disruptors and importance of differentiation

Vice president of strategic accounts Ruth Arber:

New platforms like Snapchat are changing the way we talk to friends and share content. Snapchat has altered the user experience and disrupted the social sphere by changing the way users relate to each other on social, and now Snap Inc. has the potential to disrupt the product sphere. Spectacles could be one of the more tangible and realistic internet of things products, and they have already begun changing the purchasing experience with their pop-up vending machines.

Co-founder and CEO Nikhil Sethi:

More of these companies that were pure platforms will begin to build hardware. We’ve already seen this with Spectacles and Oculus. Pursuing hardware creates new formats and more types of experiences for people, which will ultimately create more advertising opportunities for the platforms.

Apple is a huge underdog in this space because people don’t necessarily include it when they talk about Facebook and Snapchat, but Apple has something that competes with them at every level. It has iMessage, one of the biggest messaging applications with features similar to Facebook Messenger; it has one of the biggest camera apps with filters like Instagram and Snapchat; it has iTunes with capabilities that rival YouTube. The only challenge is that there isn’t a network in place for sharing those things, but that’s only one step away. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them enter the VR/augmented reality space in the next year, as well.

Something that has less obvious marketing implications is the evolution of the car. As cars become more autonomous, it frees up so much time that will go into using walled gardens instead. If you have an hour commute and you’re no longer doing the driving yourself, you’ll start spending that time on Facebook. There will be more ad loading, more consumption, more data creation. The amount of time the average American spends in a car is huge. Collectively, if you remove the amount of time spent actively engaged in transit and give it to something else, that creates a huge uptick in platform usage, which further compresses out-of-home television, print, radio. It moves all of that time into walled gardens.

Advertising dollars


Walled gardens will continue to take a bigger share of advertising budgets. In particular, they will steal dollars away from traditional mediums. The loser in 2016 was print, and the loser in 2017 is shaping up to be television. Especially with formats like Stories emerging, which are linear distribution channels similar to television, ad dollars that would be devoted to TV ads will increasingly go into walled gardens.

Client partner, Europe, Middle East and Africa Emily Huff:

Increasingly, brands are realizing that the days of solely relying on organic social are over, with recent reports showing lower-than-ever reach figures on both Facebook (2 percent) and Twitter (3 percent). As a result, digital marketers are likely to increase their focus on paid social initiatives while continuing to explore platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. As more brands begin to understand the unprecedented potential to connect with and engage consumers through social, I expect to see a correlating increase in spend on paid social; not only on Facebook (which so far has been the dominating platform) but also on the more recently established channels.

Live video


The opportunity to own live TV streaming on social is up for grabs, and we can expect to see every major social player compete for it. Cord-cutters have created an opening on mobile that platforms can fill if they are able to dominate TV networks looking to reach unplugged viewers. So far, Twitter seems to have the best handle on livestreaming, with deals with every major sports league and several networks. Snapchat moving to a licensing model with its Discover publishers suggests that it has an eye on becoming a content media channel.

Account director, Europe, Middle East and Africa Milana Saric:

2016 was the year when Facebook made its live broadcasting feature available to all users. Next year, I expect we will see a significant increase in advertising spend on boosting livestream coverage on the platform. Video has long been one of the vital elements of social media marketing, especially for building brand awareness, and we will see brands utilize Facebook Live for branding purposes by engaging users in current happenings and events. Moreover, Snapchat has proved to be an enormous hit with U.K. users and businesses alike, and it is set to keep on thriving as a new and exciting advertising platform next year. Real-time communication focused on in-the-moment and live content is likely to see an increase in advertising spend across all verticals, ranging from filters to video ads within the Snapchat user feed.

Senior VP of media operations Matt Burgoon:

87 percent of consumer use second screens while watching TV, often to participate in a larger conversation around a live TV event. This behavior has created an exciting opportunity for social platforms to provide a full viewing experience through livestreaming. Twitter in particular, the go-to platform for live events, has the ability to bring user content together with live video to give viewers comprehensive coverage without forcing them to split time between screens. Keeping an eye on social conversations about a favorite team can distract users from watching the game itself, but by placing related tweets and trending content alongside the action, Twitter is able to put all relevant game-time content in one place. While sports livestreaming on the platform is still in its early stages, there is potential for Twitter to integrate with any sports league app through smart TV apps to provide the fullest viewing experience to fans and bring them closer to the heart of real-time content.

Messaging apps


Privacy will be a key focus for messaging apps in 2017. Facebook is building out capabilities for brands to reach out to customers via Messenger, but there may be friction there with users actually welcoming unsolicited contact. There is a lot of potential in that medium, but the challenge will be scaling up those products based on user adoption.