We must begin looking towards the trends we can expect to see in the coming calendar year.
Here are few forecasts for the ruling search engines like google, changes in mobile traffic, as well as the forecast trends for social networks such as Instagram and YouTube.
As of October 2015, Google led the explicit core search market with 63.9 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 20.8 percent and Yahoo Sites with 12.5 percent of all search engine traffic. Ask Network accounted for 1.7 percent of explicit core searches. With no surprise to anyone, Google should continue to rule the search engine competition in 2016, and in the years to come, unless another search engine rolls out a game-changing strategy that none of us were able to see coming.
Mobile vs. Desktop Traffic:
Mobile now represents an impressive amount of online traffic. In 2015, mobile traffic surpassed the quantity of visits from the desktop, marking the turning point on the way to mobile dominance for Google. The algorithm update that Google rolled out this year that penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will only cause this trend to increase. This mobile trend will only dominate more of the online activity of consumers, who are using their tablets and smartphones.
Social media platforms are eating every other traffic source’s lunch. Formerly, organic search (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) made up the lion’s share of overall visits to sites. So, it became the lovechild of the World Wide Web. Overall, 73 percent of internet users had, at least, one social networking profile in 2015, which is a huge increase from the 48 percent of users that had a profile on 2010. The power of social networking is such that, the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.5 billion by 2018.
Facebook currently dominates social network usage with 45.4 percent of the social networking market share. Facebook traffic is expected to hold a similar percentage of the market share in 2016 in North America, but will continue to gain users in new regions, especially if they are able to break into the Chinese market as expected.
Social media marketing veterans have three top predictions for 2016: video, video and video. Next year will see a greater emphasis on video marketing, streaming video. YouTube currently holds 22.2 percent of the social networking market share, which is a share they may struggle to maintain with all the new video based social networking options that have rolled out in the last few years. One of the ways they are hoping to increase the number of visitors is through YouTube Red, which is a new paid version of YouTube. There has been some scepticism as to whether YouTube users will be willing to pay for a service they have been using for so many years for free, but YouTube is betting on the increased quality of videos, as well as expanded options such as downloading videos, to entice users to buy the service.
Twitter is 10 years old along the way, it has grown and evolved. Twitter has rolled out a lot of major changes this year, including the curated Moments, Native Video Ads, and Embedded Grid, feed, tweet collections, and polls. In spite of these moves, Twitter’s growth was slow in 2015, with only a rise of 11 %, for an overall market share of 4.8 %. Twitter is likely to continue to try new ways to increase their market share in 2016 with new features such as allowing tweets to be edited, offering new emoji tools, enhanced engagement options for events (such as customized emoji’s), and continuing to encourage those with customer service questions to turn to Twitter as opposed to reaching out to companies via other avenues.
The famous online community Reddit, which was launched in 2005, has around 200 million active users each month. Reddit currently accounts for 4.45% of social networking traffic, making it the third most popular social networking site behind YouTube. Reddit is currently making preparations for a mobile website by testing a beta version of an Android app. It is the first step before the official launch of the app at the beginning of 2016.
Pinterest had the 2nd largest driver of traffic from social media sites with a 31 % usage rate, but only accounts for 1.34 percent of the market share. When it comes to referral traffic from social networks, there’s Facebook and Pinterest – and then there’s everyone else”. According to a new study by Piqora, a pin generates an average of 78 cents in sales. Acknowledge the fact that a majority of (nearly 80%) Pinterest users are women and 92% of pins are also made by them. As of the second quarter of 2015, U.S. consumers were more satisfied with Pinterest than any other social networking site, which bodes well for its growth in 2016.
The world’s largest professional network on the Internet – LinkedIn holding 1.34 percent of market share, as there is no real competitor in the business networking space. LinkedIn is expected to roll out better ways for recruiters to utilize their data in 2016, which could possibly slightly increase the number of people using LinkedIn to search for employment.
Instagram seeing the fastest year-over-year growth of all the platforms. Experts’ estimate 89 % of marketers will use social networks to increase the visibility of their brands and products by the end of next year. It currently has 1.32 percent of the market share, although that may drop slightly as Instagram rolls out more ads in 2016.
Overall, it looks like there shouldn’t be a big shake-up in market share across search engines or social networking sites, although there are a lot of new features rolling out which could prove to be big game changers.