Video technology transformed 2018 into one of the most inventive years to date. Stories redefined social media; mobile moved one step close to 5G; brands began seeking out micro influencers; live video hit its stride. Head into the new year on top of your tech game and learn how you can take advantage of video technology trends to watch:

Technology Trends To Watch #1: The Dominance of the Stories Format

Ephemeral content was king in 2018 as the rise of the Stories format continues to take social media by storm. This year alone, the ephemeral Stories format has grown 15 times faster than traditional feed-based sharing. In fact, there are currently more than a billion users of Stories across Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Facebook’s own chief product officer, Chris Cox, has openly exclaimed that Stories are on track to surpass feed as the primary way people share content with their friends in the upcoming year.

What this means to you:

The Stories format offers audiences a more authentic, compelling, and interactive experience in comparison to traditional feed sharing. If you want to stay relevant on social media in 2019, you’ll need to refine your marketing strategy and focus on ephemeral content. Authenticity is key, so leverage the Stories format to give your fans a more intimate, behind-the-scenes view into your life as a creator.

Technology Trends To Watch #2: More Focus on Mobile Video

Companies continue to ramp up their technology to make the idea of 5G networks more of a reality in the new year. Although it’s been predicted that 5G will reach more than 40% of the world’s population and cover 1.5 billion people by the end of 2024, the onset of 5G may be here sooner than we expect. The introduction of 5G will drastically increase the demand for mobile video consumption. With content delivery up to 100 times faster, consumers will experience faster download speeds and improved streaming quality. Yes, please!

What this means to you:

Mobile video consumption is not slowing down, therefore creators looking to maximize use of this trend will need to tailor their video content for mobile viewing. If your video player is not optimized, it will not load at full size on a mobile device. Similarly, vertical videos have become increasingly popular for mobile viewing on platforms like Instagram. Be sure to create video content that is suitable for both vertical and horizontal viewing.

Technology Trends To Watch #3: Micro-Influencers Take Center Stage

The rise of social influencers is not a new trend, however, 2018 experienced a shift in who brands were looking to align with. For the first time ever, ‘micro influencers’ emerged as the target for advertising dollars. So you may be asking yourself, what classifies someone as a micro influencer? As Adweek unveils, micro influencers are social media users that have a following between 1,000 and 90,000 and have yet to achieve celebrity status. Although they may have a smaller following, consumers prefer to see authentic, relatable content from micro influencers they trust. With a 60% higher engagement rate than traditional celebrities and a 22.2% average weekly increase in conversions for their efforts, more brands in 2019 are turning to micro influencers as a more cost-effective and efficient way to drive brand awareness and sales.

What this means to you:

If you’re looking to break into the micro influencer biz, the most important first step is building an organic and dedicated following. In order to maximize the reach of your content and attract new followers, set your profile to an Instagram Business account (check out our blog to learn how). Find your niche and set a social strategy to align your digital content with your goals.

Technology Trends To Watch #4: The Rise of Live Video

Live video is on pace to hit its stride in 2019. A report from Facebook revealed that the daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts quadrupled over the course of 2018. While many were wary of the uncertainty of going live in the past, it is quickly becoming one of the best ways to connect and engage audiences. Live videos offer an entirely new level of personalization, where audiences feel as if you are speaking directly to them which leads to more video engagement and longer watch times.

What this means to you:

Now that the novelty of live video has worn off, video creators looking to get a leg up on their competition will leverage this powerful tool in the new year. For maximum exposure and reach during your live broadcast, you will need to create a unique and valuable experience for your viewers. If you need some help, be sure to check out our 6 tips for increasing views for live videos.

With the new year around the corner, we can expect bigger and more groundbreaking innovations to come. Don’t miss a beat in technology news in 2019, check back every month for our tech roundups!