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The introduction of newcomers Ello and Snapchat, combined with the continued growth of platforms such as Twitter, has certainly made for a busy year in the world of social media.

This constant evolution is one of the reasons I find social media so fascinating – that, and the fact that there’s always something new to learn.

With 2015 on our doorstep, it’s a good time to look at what’s set to emerge from social media.

Increasing optimisation

According to Gartner – a leading information technology research and advisory company – 2015 will see brands spend less time investing in new platforms and developing content, and more time looking at metrics to analyse what’s working for them – and what’s not.

In 2015, as in 2014, it’ll no longer be good enough just to have ‘fans’ on social media. Using the right metrics will be more important than ever as businesses become more savvy in how they track the performance of their social media initiatives and how they’ve worked towards goals such as conversion, acquisition and retention.

Getting innovative

Earlier this year, both Twitter and Facebook introduced ‘buy’ buttons which allow users to make purchases in just a couple of clicks, without even leaving the network. With this in mind, and the fact that Facebook alone has over 1.3 billion users – more than all the television networks globally combined – it’s expected that brands will begin spending more money on social media. This revenue, in turn, will make the social media networks stronger, giving them the resources to be more innovative.

More than just networks

Next year, the likelihood is that many key players in the world of social media will develop from being just websites and apps into infrastructures that support businesses’ messaging, targeting and measurement aspirations.

Taking the lead in this development is Facebook, which over the past year has expanded from a network to a digital platform. By purchasing ad server Atlas, Facebook has enabled advertisers to use its profile database and social graph to enable advertisers to reach members in places outside of the network.

Converging across platforms

Over the past couple of years there’s been a noticeable increase in the amount of social advertising, with social networks’ offerings becoming increasingly diverse. Therefore, social media is expected to make a bigger integration into live events, such as television.

Mobile first

Social media platforms have previously been designed with desktop experiences at the forefront of a developer’s mind. However, with more people than ever logging on using Smartphones, it’s important that developers pay more attention to what the mobile-first experience looks like for its audience. This means that the likes of Pinterest and Instagram will likely develop independent strategies for their networks on different devices.

All in all, it’s set to be another jam-packed year for social media – and I for one can’t wait.

What are your predictions for 2015? Let us know.