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8 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2019

2019 will be a crucial year for social media. Platforms will have to collectively pick up the pieces from the wreckage that was 2018. And companies will need to rethink their digital strategies to effectively connect with users. Predicting what will happen in the rollercoaster world of social media is about as difficult as forecasting the weather on any given day in Belgium. But with the help of Reuters Institute’s latest Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions report, among others, let’s explore some of the top trends we think will shape the social media landscape in 2019. 1. “DIGITAL WELLBEING” WILL BECOME A STRONGER TOPIC OF CONVERSATION With time in front of a screen taking up more and more of our everyday lives, reports have sprung up in the last couple of years about the harmful ways in which the internet is impacting our ability to focus, sleep, cultivate healthy relationships with others and more. As a result, this has forced the tech industry to rethink how it approaches what it creates and has led to engineers re-evaluating the ethics of creating addictive products. Companies such as Apple are starting to introduce new features to their latest operating systems, such as a screen time tracker, which lets users set time limits on certain apps and helps track the amount of time users spend on their phones. It can be incredibly jarring to see that you picked up your phone more than 100 times in a single day! So where do social media platforms fit into this? As phone manufacturers help users become more mindful of their screen time, this can greatly cut into the usage of apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. With digital wellbeing coming to the forefront of people’s minds, this is a topic that isn’t going away anytime soon. Throughout the year, we will most likely see more discussions on digital wellbeing, advice on how to delete data from social media profiles and possibly even some new tools to help curb screen time. 2. COMPANIES WILL DIVERSIFY AND INVEST LESS IN FACEBOOK According to the Reuters survey, publishers are starting to explore other platforms for sharing content beyond just Facebook. There is more and more diversification in where content is being shared, rather than just investing everything in Facebook. Google, of course, is still the priority for most, with nearly nine in ten respondents saying it will be “very” or “extremely” important this year. However, publishers are also exploring YouTube (a Google company), Instagram (a Facebook company) and Twitter as new avenues to reach their audiences. This scenario creates a bit of a domino effect – as users are starting to lose trust in Facebook, and as the algorithm continues to change, publishers are starting to see that the lower number of referrals creates a lower ROI when it comes to advertising and sharing content on Facebook. Which, unfortunately, can also spiral out to the point of shutting operations down completely for some companies, such as Mic. After all, why invest in fresh, new content for social media platforms when the rules of the game keep changing? With that said, it will be interesting to see publishers and brands explore new ways to get users’ attention and continue to restructure their ad spending in an era when Facebook is losing its foothold. 3. STORIES VS. FEEDS Facebook claims that stories will surpass feeds as the main way people share with friends within the next year. And while the “stories” feature has been around for a while, it’s hitting unprecedented numbers, according to the Reuters Institute report. Stories are used on a daily basis by 150 million people on Facebook, 190 million on Snapchat and 300 million on Instagram. This doesn’t even include WhatsApp statuses, YouTube reels and more. The news feed is slowly fizzling out, as it’s very much a part of the desktop experience, so we’ll most likely see companies invest more in visual storytelling to appeal to younger audiences and attract those eyeballs (and ad revenue, of course). Most notably, many publishers and brands have increased their engagement by creating fresh content shared via Instagram stories, which may have been the partial cause of my next point… 4. IS SNAPCHAT ON ITS WAY OUT? It’s entirely possible. Snapchat has had a rough couple of years. With forecasted losses of around $1.5 billion in 2019, the company needs to rebuild its user base after making a plethora of product mistakes. After its (pretty terrible and confusing) redesign rollout in 2018, Snapchat lost millions of users to its rival Instagram, which copied much of Snapchat’s concepts in its stories feature and eventually was also replicated in Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp. I guess that showed Snapchat not to mess with The Zuck. On top of that, Snapchat is struggling to find meaningful growth outside of the US, which could eventually lead to Snapchat being sold off or requesting further investment. According to Reuters, Disney or Amazon could very well be interested in acquiring Snapchat in the future. With that said, Snapchat needs to find its breakthrough to bring back users and ad revenue, or else it’s going to become the next MySpace. 5. THE PUSH TOWARD VIDEO AND TV GOES DEEPER While the increase in video content investment is rather unsurprising, it’s continuing to gain importance. Online video content is currently king across many social media channels, and will continue to reign in 2019. This, of course, will result in major investments from publishers and brands in this space – especially as content outlets such as Facebook Watch and IGTV continue to build their audiences through engaging and interactive video content. Plus, YouTube has started creating TV shows and Snapchat has plans to expand its Shows lineup as well. While video offers new and exciting opportunities for publishers, it’s still a high-risk strategy. Aforementioned publisher Mic, for example, learned this the hard way when it had its Facebook Watch money fall through, leading to its demise. 6. GETTING PAST A YEAR FULL OF DISTRUST AND MISINFORMATION It’s no surprise that social media platforms need to refocus on earning users’ trust again. We’ve hit an inflection point with social media in which it has become a danger to democracy in many parts of the world. This has resulted in potentially manipulated elections, the spread of false news and a horrifying genocide incited in Myanmar. Events like these have caused some governments, such as Indonesia, to threaten to block social media channels during elections. And in countries like India, some WhatsApp features have been blocked to prevent the virality of false information. The geopolitical implications of this issue are well beyond the scope of a blog post, but as we know, social media does not exist in a vacuum. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco and Twitter’s purge of fake accounts, among several other recent scandals, have shattered much of the trust that users had in these social media platforms. Will this cause more and more users to abandon ship? Probably – especially among young people who are already defriending Facebook in droves. But in an ideal world, we’ll start to see these companies take ownership of their shortcomings and take the necessary steps to restore users’ trust. 7. PAYING MORE FOR LESS RETURN Publishers and brands are seeing the ad gap widen due to increased competition. In short, companies are increasing their ad spending while yielding a lower return on that investment. Unfortunately, this is probably going to continue in 2019 and beyond. According to a recent Hootsuite survey, 64% of respondents identified a decline in organic reach and the need to increase paid budgets as big challenges. Hootsuite also found that one out of every four Facebook Pages now use paid media, with Facebook already accounting for 23% of total U.S. digital ad spending. This is why it will be important for companies to stay tuned on how users are interacting on social media and to learn how to create engaging content in more unique ways. Quite the challenge. 8. MORE TIME WITH 1:1 CONVERSATIONS, LESS SHARING ACROSS NETWORKS Finally, here’s a fun one: messaging apps have more users than all traditional social networks combined. Insane, right? WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ and Skype account for nearly 5 billion users worldwide. And as Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report points out, across the board, users are spending more time on messaging and less time sharing news on social media feeds. As a result, the shift from public to more private spaces is changing consumer expectations overall. So, in 2019, expect to see more companies using messaging platforms to reach out to users. Rather than building a presence on even more channels, companies could greatly benefit from utilising Facebook Messenger on their company page, or even enabling WhatsApp as a customer service channel. To take this even further, using in-app bots or executing campaigns that have a messaging component can really drive further engagement and gives companies a more personal touch when interacting with customers. […]

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Mobile application Development

Web and Mobile Application have become an inseparable part of the business life. Almost every business has turned towards web and mobile application development for leveraging business results like lead generation of higher brand value, increased reach, increase in business profits, greater business value and much more. Mobile and web apps have not just confined themselves to be a medium of distribution, but they emerged as an important part of the communication cycle between an enterprise and its customers. They help you shape your business strategies and learn consumer behavior while keeping a close eye on your competition. They give you the space you need to evolve as a leader and allow you to attend your customer needs while meeting your business objectives. However, there is a larger debate brewing in the market right now: choosing between mobile apps and websites. But is it fair to compare two completely different entities? Certainly, the mobile app development market has grown tenfold. According to statistics, as of March 2017, there were 2.8 million apps available on Google Play Store alone. The mobile app revenue is said to blow up to 188.9 billion US dollars by the year 2020 via in-app adverts and app stores. But still, websites are an important and integral part of a larger strategy which is inevitable for businesses wanting to build a potent brand value. Websites have many benefits to offer, as they strengthen your brand’s customer experience. Moreover, websites are still a very important part of the eCommerce industry. […]

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Top 8 Web Development Trends of 2019

Top 8 Web Development Trends of 2019 1. AI or Bots 2. JavaScript 3. Progressive Web App 4. Single Page Application 5. Mobile-Friendly Website 6. Motion UI 7. Blockchain Technology 8. Cybersecurity 2019 is here, and it promises to bring with it fresh ideas, modern innovations and new initiatives in web development we deserve; from the current developments on AI through Machine Learning to influencing the global economy. Indeed, when it comes to technology, everything is so variable and unpredictable. Now and then, advancement and breakthroughs surprise us and shift our world. The digital revolution continues to set trends and tempt us with new technologies that developers and programmers everywhere will be crazy about. People are always excited to know the most in-demand languages/frameworks as well the latest updates on the web design and software applications. To give you a foresight on what will happen this year, here’s the Top 8 Web Development Trends of 2019 that will dominate the web industry. 1. AI or Bots (AI) is the intelligence displayed by machines to mimic human intelligence and perform cognitive functions like the ability to learn, collect data, analyze information, understand emotions or solve challenging problems. The need for AI-enabled communication, multi-task automation, and analytics solutions will become more prevalent this year. As early as now we can see how AI’s chatbots, virtual assistants (like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana) and voice bots helped businesses engagement and transformed social interaction. Their evolutions empowered the omnichannel for digital customer experience and guaranteed consistency across voice, chat, messaging and websites. With the help of Machine Learning (ML) development and Artificial Neural Network(ANN) researches and studies, AI might achieve its coveted goals – to successfully simulate genuine human empathy and demonstrate commonsense knowledge. 2. JavaScript JavaScript is still the most popular language for the last six years, and it continues to develop according to Stack Overflow 2018 report. The evolution of its frameworks, libraries, and designs for the past years proved that it has lots to offer in the market. No wonder it’s developer’s top pick language for it provides a whole new experience of flexibility, challenge, and power. In Coding Dojo bootcamp, we teach not only Javascript, but we offer five of the Most In-Demand Programming Languages of 2019 ranked in TIOBE Index. Our learning platform equips developers with the most sought-after tech skills and helps them stand out on the job market. 3. Progressive Web App Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) are still part of 2019 hottest web trends. These modern web applications load like regular web pages or websites but have a high level of functionality. They can load instantly, regardless of the network state and browser choice because they’re built with progressive enhancement, a strategy for web design that emphasizes core webpage content first. PWA ensures an instant, independence and reliable experience of users without cache issues. It’s safe because it served via HTTP to avert content snooping and data tampering. On top of that, PWA is user-friendly, installable and hassle-free which enhances the existing web technologies—thanks to its service workers and other built-in features. It can be shared via a URL and can re-engage users with web push notifications. 4. Single Page Application Single-page application (SPA) is a web application based on Javascript which works well among user devices. It boosts performance, minimize interruptions due to page reloading and decreases web development time by responding to navigation actions without creating a request to fetch new HTML from the server side. Why is SPA well liked? It’s an excellent pick when building responsive websites, support mobile, tablet & desktop apps. Most recent developments on SPA are based on React and Angular frameworks that make it practical and suitable for hybrid apps. 5. Mobile-Friendly Website Mobile-friendly websites are websites that work well on smartphones. They use touch controls and can fit on small screens for quick navigation. Furthermore, they load fast due to their fantastic features which reduce data entry. In 2016, Google’s A-Team created its own first mobile-optimized search index. It’s one of Google’s best approaches to give their smartphone visitors the same quality of user experience when delivering search results regardless of the device they’re using. Although hardware and user-interface are different between desktops and mobile devices, many companies adopted the strategy to start digital traffic and increase their website marketability. It’s a wise move for the number of mobile phone users in the world. And it is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019 according to Statistica.com. 6. Motion UI With a great demand for interactive web design, Motion UI will still be trending this year for its dynamic graphics, amazing animation and real impacts on usability. It showcases the developer’s ability to tell a visual story while communicating to the viewer using a variety of tools and techniques. Motion UI is a sustainable library that allows the seamless transition effects on the user interface. It’s one of the most rapidly gaining popularity libraries because it enables developers to animate content as easy as possible even without having a solid foundation in JavaScript or jQuery library. 7. Blockchain Technology Thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown person who [claimed to be a Japanese] created and developed the bitcoin, we’ve entered the Bitcoin Era. And from it, the Blockchain Technology emerges which heyday is still evident nowadays. Blockchain is an open and distributed ledger, notorious for its secured design, decentralized consensus, and modified-resistance blocks. It’s designed to lower the financial business cost, reduce the frequency of transaction settlement and improve cash flow backed up by transparent records/data. As a peer-to-peer network manages it, it has a strict protocol for inter-node communication and new block validation process that earned it the title as the “First and Most Trusted Global Cryptocurrency Company.” One of the best practices of Coding Dojo workshops is to teach our students on how to create digital certificates using blockchain. This BlockCerts project is made possible with our partnership with MIT. Now, we issue verifiable graduation certificates on the BitCoin blockchain that ensures valid status. 8. Cybersecurity Ever since data breaches, cyber threats, website hacking, and data theft are the terrible menace that lurks on the darkest shadows of technological advancement and scientific progression, and 2019 will be no exemption. Thus, cybersecurity won’t disappear soon. Cybersecurity or information technology security (IT security) is the computer protection systems against theft, service disruption or misdirection as well as on hardware, software or electronic data damages. IT security experts envisage that those cybercriminals won’t stop to look for vulnerabilities and victims. With that in mind, individuals, companies, communities, and industries need to strengthen their security system to protect their private info, servers, and databases. Therefore, tenacious solutions are necessary to battle the cyber challenges of the contemporary world. The Future is NOW The web development industry is doing a great job coming up with new frameworks, design trends, and mobile web app developments to satisfy the incessant demands and expectations of mankind. And despite some setbacks and flaws, it continues to thrive, flourish and improve. So, no matter what project you’ll be working on in 2019, find time to update your skill set and learn new languages and frameworks to stay on top of your game. And for those who are planning to change their job or career, try web programming—its fun, challenging and worth exploring. […]

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BRANDING

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean? How does it affect a small business like yours? […]

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