Can you believe we are already halfway through 2017? To say a lot has already happened is an understatement. From elections to celebrity news, social media has been an integral part in breaking this year’s biggest stories. Social Media Day is June 30—in celebration let’s take a look at some of the biggest social media stories that have happened in 2017.

Fake News

social media fake newsAs the dust settled from the presidential election, fake news, and especially its prolific rise on social media channels, came into the spotlight. Currently, more than half of U.S. adults say they get news from social media sources. While fake news sites aren’t new, they are now more dangerous because they completely model real news sites and often skew the truth to influence opinions. The influence they were able to wield during and after the election was vastly aided by headline scanning, comment sections, and mass sharing on social sites. In response, Facebook announced the launch of a new initiative, The Facebook Journalism Project, to combat the rise of fake news on its platform and develop a stronger relationship with journalists.

TBD if this will do anything to curb the problem.

Video

While video was the social media buzzword in 2016, it has been integrated into all social channels and continues to reign as king in order of engagement and ROI for users. In a recent Verge article, they talk about Facebook employees’ popular use of “the camera is the new keyboard” mantra. Snapchat has coined itself a camera company from the beginning and continues to move in a video-centric direction with this year’s launch of Spectacles.

Stay tuned for updates across all social media channels that focus on putting videos front and center, with text and images taking a backseat.

Everyone’s On board

people social mediaIt’s 2017, talking about social media and its influence on our lives doesn’t only pertain to our youngest generations anymore.  As mentioned above, more than half of U.S. adults get news from social channels. Social media users are getting older; 53% of U.S. users are over the age of 35. While there are still divisions with Facebook trending with an older audience and Snapchat and Instagram predominantly younger, the gap is quickly decreasing.

Look for social media channel user breakouts to become evenly spread across generations and for new innovations from Generation Z as they put their own mark on social media.

VR/AR

The growth of virtual reality and augmented reality is largely thanks to social media. According to an eMarketer forecast, 40 million people in the U.S. will engage with some form of AR this year. We’ve already seen innovations this year with Snapchat leading the charge on social media. But Facebook and Instagram are also rolling out more ways to include AR in their stories for users. VR adaptation has been slower due to costly hardware, but as these costs decrease, expect to see more headsets and glasses being incorporated into your favorite social channel.

Here’s a glimpse at VR’s future: Facebook Spaces

*Augmented reality is the blending of virtual reality and real life. A good example is Pokémon Go.
*Virtual reality is the creation of a virtual world. A good example is gaming or traveling with Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR.

Backlash media

United Airlines, Pepsi, who’s next? “Backlash media” will continue to grow as brands try to align themselves and their products with social causes.

Snap Map

This new feature allows users to share their location with friends and see snaps happening around them. This has many people worried about security, but this trend of location-based social media isn’t going away.

Mashable launched Social Media Day as a way to celebrate social media’s impact on global communication.  Get involved by following @MashSMDay #SMDay.