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Year in Review – Social Media 2016

 

It’s easy to forget how many new features, memes, and events regarding social media occurred within the span of 365 days when they’ve so quickly fallen into the mainstream.

At the start of the year a ton of controversy on YouTube surrounded the Fine Bros attempting to trademark the ideas and wording of their React channels. After losing over a million subscribers, they removed their trademark on the YouTube reaction franchise.

With features we got Instagram’s Stories, Facebook’s reaction buttons and 360 photos, Snapchat’s “Memories” among general updates such as Yik Yak’s new profile option.

Virtual and augmented reality entered further into the mainstream, with Pokemon Go being a summer hit and companies such as Samsung and Playstation offering VR headsets. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also laid out a 10-year-plan for Facebook, which included artificial intelligence along with VR and AR.

Politically, #Election2016 was a popular hashtag, and the media along with the general public talked endlessly about Trump’s Twitter along with Hillary’s emails. The livestream of the death of Philando Castile set off protests across the US. Later in the year, we saw Bana Al-Abed, 7 years old, tweet live from the events of Aleppo.

As the threat of terrorism grew on social media, multiple lawsuits occurred that blamed social media platforms for acting as “material support” for the terrorists.

Fake news became a widely discussed topic, with companies working to find ways of combating it on their platform. PewDiePie, the most subscribed YouTuber, had fun with media and trolled the internet by telling everyone he would delete his channel. After news outlets shot out the story, he posted a secondary video adding that it was a joke.

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