2015 has been another year full of digital breakthroughs, from being able to buy a coffee with your phone to technology that you want to wear.
Consequently we felt it was the right time to look back and choose our favourite digital trends of 2015. We’ve picked these trends as they’ve helped to shape the digital and social media world over the last 12 months, and we believe they will grow in relevance over the next year.
1. Digital fitness
It was only a matter of time before staying fit became digital. One of the most popular digital fitness brands is FitBit who offer a wide range of wearable devices that help track your activity, and how many calories you’ve burnt. They’ve grown massively in popularity; some of them can even monitor your heartbeat and track your sleep patterns.
The world’s biggest music streaming service Spotify has also joined in with this fitness craze, as their app has added a feature that matches music to your running tempo. It’s a simple add-on to the app, but definitely helps motivate you to put those running shoes on.
2. 360 Degree video
Now this really makes 2015 feel like the future. 360 degree videos are filmed using special set ups, normally using several cameras, and the best part is that once it’s all been cleverly stitched together the viewer can basically move their viewpoint around. This revelation has been picked up by everyone from BBC News to BuzzFeed. It’s not suited to every type of content, but expect to see more and more of this, especially on your phone or tablet, as you can just move your device around to choose what you see.
3. Making your own gif’s
You couldn’t go far on the internet in 2015 without seeing some GIF’s. These short, looping animated clips used to be quite tricky to make, but now there are a handful of apps that make it really simple. Instagram’s Boomerang app creates 1-second long videos that constantly loop and it’s super easy to use, shown through the fact that now over 1 million people have downloaded it!
Another offering is called DSCO (pronounced disco) from the makers of the popular camera app VSCO. It’s a bit more advanced than Boomerang, but still makes quirky videos. As more users begin to use these apps, expect brands to do the same.
4. Paying digitally
First we had pin numbers, then contactless credit cards, and now 2015 has brought us paying with your phone. Apple Pay allows any iPhone 6, 6 plus or Apple Watch user to pay for things with their phone, and although it hasn’t taken off in the UK as much as in America, it demonstrates just how much your phone can do. Apple is really pushing this feature, so we expect it to become common on top-end phones.
5. Live streaming video apps
The digital world is always looking for new and improved ways of consuming content, and the launch of Periscope in 2015 meant that users could view live video easily. This live steaming app was created by Twitter and alongside watching the video, users can comment and ‘heart’ the content.
Spotify was one of the first brands to sign up and they streamed a performance of a band which had over 400 views, all in just 24 hours after Periscope launched! Red Bull also live streamed one of their exclusive parties from Miami for anyone to watch.
Periscope would be a great way to live stream your events, allowing it be seen by far more many people. All you need to do is sign up with your Twitter profile and you’re ready to go. You even have the option of pushing a notification to Twitter each time you do a stream, meaning your audience never misses out.
6. Re-thinking email
Although started in 2014, the messaging app Slack really took businesses by storm. The app is designed to help communication between teams and people in the office. Time magazine and the technology website The Verge even suggested that the popularity of Slack means the death of work email. There’s a free version, or you can pay for more advanced features such as guest access. The service syncs up with your phone and desktop, so you’ll always be in the loop. Plus, the whole thing looks a lot better than email!
2015 has been a great year for all things digital, with video playing a bigger role on social media and apps becoming even more important. Expect these trends to continue into 2016, along with a whole host of other developments. We’re looking forward to seeing how 360 degree video is used in new and interesting ways and whether or not apps like Slack really are the end of work email…