Believe it or not, the first quarter of 2015 is officially complete. Between the snow accumulations (especially) in the Northeast, the subsequent melting process, and the ever-evolving social media landscape, we've been busy. One of my takeaways from the social world is that FOMO (fear of missing out) is alive and well across several audiences. Let me recap a few social highlights and share a bit more on my takeaways. 
  • Snapchat carries a 15 billion dollar valuation and reportedly somewhere between 100 and 200 million active users. Is Snapchat for every brand? Most likely not, but it has a measure of appeal for a particular audience. This group doesn't want to miss out on anything and they also like things that are exclusive and momentary. That's probably the draw for Snapchat's massive Millennial audience. 
  • Recently, Meerkat and Periscope entered the social scene and brought new life to the term "live streaming." You can't "miss out" with live streaming, right? Well, Meerkat streams are public and disappear faster than Periscope's (which last for 24 hours). Users have more options with Periscope such as selecting who views them. In both cases, the concept of momentary is still relevant. The next few months will hopefully shed light on Twitter's plans for Periscope and the market's overall reception to both apps.
  • Last, but not least, Facebook has finally shared its vision for the Messenger app. It will attempt to address Messenger's low-usage issue by making it a true platform consisting of: apps, video/audio clips, and functionality to allow brands to communicate with consumers in threaded discussions, and Messenger will even provide a money transfer service. Facebook's Oculus Rift acquisition will finally be unveiled as a 360-degree video experience within our newsfeeds.
All of this is interesting, but what does it mean? Social is still evolving. While taking stock of the "cool" functionality provided through existing and new channels, marketers should always look at the bigger picture. Ask, what does this mean for my audience? What will they look for within these channels, given these changes? Keeping those questions top of mind is a good start and will help you determine what elements to test. Your focus needs to be on providing value in the manner your audience wants it and that provides the best brand experience possible. I'll continue to explore the concept of providing value through social in my next report, which links video options to reach, depth, and relationship marketing objectives. Stay tuned, and if you haven't already, take a look at my microvideo report. As always, let me know what you think and if there are any social news items from Q1 that are top of mind for you.