Facebook and Snapchat poised to win the 5G Arms Race

Chanel Wayne

By: Chanel Wayne

Director, Strategy

5G hysteria is upon us. You do not have to be an avid reader of tech industry trades to recognize that there is a looming transformational shift ahead for marketers, consumers, developers and everyone in between. Advertisers and creators will soon have a wide array of technological advancements to choose from to drive their business and personal lives forward.

From a tech advancement point of view; increased connectivity, reduced lag time, greater bandwidth and reliability will be the key drivers leading to consumer-facing improvements across video, augmented/virtual reality, mobile gaming and connectivity in general.

You may be thinking how much more connected can we get? Well, that is certainly a fair question and there are likely a number of additional questions and speculation around the tangible results of all these advancements. To help contextualize the anticipated changes Unified has identified 3 big advancements that advertisers can expect and what these changes may mean for social advertising.


1. Targeting & Measurement

To date, social advertising’s location-based solution has been limited to Facebook and Instagram’s Store Visits objective and geofencing on Snapchat. With 5G, the industry is poised to capitalize on the next wave of location-based tactics with faster throughputs and lower latency leading to greater accuracy and ultimately more flexibility when it comes to personalization and leveraging real-time location data to customize user’s experiences in meaningful ways.


2. The Expansion and availability of Mixed Reality experiences

This trend has already started to take off with brands testing mixed reality activations, but the democratization of the technology will enable users to create their own mixed reality experiences and increase the amount of virtual and augmented reality content in the same way that the camera phone increased the amount of photo and video content. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram have already started to lay the foundation with AR lenses and Bitmoji Avatars. It follows that they too will find interesting ways to continue to push these capabilities and surprise and delight users on their respective platforms.


3. The Evolution of Social Gaming

The expansion of mobile gaming and the Esports market presents unique opportunities for social platforms, gaming developers as well as advertisers to capitalize on 5G technology in innovative ways. Social gaming will go well beyond sharing Farmville updates via Facebook feeds as Facebook has already introduced Instant Games and a gaming streaming option that rivals Twitch. While Snapchat has entered the space with their own original content launching with Bitmoji dance party there is no doubt that social gaming will continue to be a key area of development for social platforms as more VR content will likely lead to greater adoption of VR enabling devices such as Oculus, allowing for Facebook to build on this connection in new and exciting ways.

In general, the utilities mentioned here are not new by any means but the expectation is that they will become the new normal. While it is still too early to fully understand all of the changes that will be ushered in by the availability of 5G, what is clear is that there are many opportunities for brands and agencies to advance their media tactics across platforms and it will require advertisers to experiment with different technologies and tactics early on to work out what makes the most sense for their brand in the long haul.


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