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Most of us will agree that, for the most part, 2016 was a real shit show. Though we did learn a thing or two. We experienced how political polarisation can be facilitated by social media, we saw mental health take the spotlight in the hearts and minds of the masses, and we witnessed the rise and fall of Pokémon GO.

But with the turning of a calendar page comes the promise of better things. And in true Canvas8 clairvoyant style, we teamed up with Leo Burnett London to predict six things we expect to see change in people’s behaviour over the next 12 months…

People will want to see the whole truth
The past year has been filled with polarising opinions, leaving an air of ‘them and us’ in society, and raising all kinds of questions about the flow of information online. We've entered a post-truth era – where emotion and populism often win out over facts and expert opinion. And in 2017, people will be looking for ways to burst the bubble.

People will pay more attention to cybersecurity
Infrared lasers, CCTV and guard dogs – these are all things that spring to mind when we talk about home security. But as everyday items become increasingly connected, the number of vulnerabilities the average consumer faces are multiplying. In this climate, 45% of Brits and 85% of Americans harbour concerns over the Internet of Things. And in 2017, these fears are set to spike, encouraging people to take cybersecurity seriously.

People will be working jobs on the side
From Etsy stores to YouTube channels, 'side hustling’ outside of the regular nine-to-five is increasingly common. With around 70% of people saying they'd shun traditional companies to work independently, and a fifth saying they’d quit their jobs to work on their own projects if they could. So in 2017, we’re set to see the ranks of hustlers on platforms like YouTube, Etsy and Uber swell, we’ll see more platforms pop up to join them, and we’ll see more social platforms step up to support them. And no doubt we’ll see a few headlines about the unlikely millionaires that were made in these pockets of the internet. 

Bots will make for bad conversationalists
Whether we’re aware of it or not, AI is already integrated into the way many of us interact with brands and services on a day-to-day basis – and this is only set to grow. But while they serve their purpose concerning customer enquiries, bots have a lot to learn – 44% of people wish their assistants were better at understanding them, and 28% want to be able to talk to them more naturally. As awareness grows, 2017 could well be the year of bots behaving badly.

People won’t be downloading as many apps
Storage real estate is a real thing, and apps are feeling the strain. There might be more than a million of them on the App Store, but the number of apps people are actually downloading is on the decline – and 80% of the time people spend using them is reserved for their favourite three. People have long wanted their experience with technology to be a seamless one, but in 2017, that minimalism will become even more pronounced.

People will be watching more vertical videos
Whether you’re perusing your Facebook feed, or getting started on your latest Netflix binge, there’s more chance now than ever that you’re doing it from your phone. Half of YouTube’s traffic is via mobile, and 36% of people consume long-form content from their phones, too. But phones aren’t designed to be horizontal,  and – as a result – neither is a growing body of video content. Horizontal is so last year; expect to hear a lot more of that in 2017.

You can find Leo Burnett’s full predictions for 2017 here.

Hannah Callaghan is an account executive at Canvas8. When she’s not helping clients navigate the deepest layers of the Canvas8 Library, she’s probably binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race or befriending other people’s dogs.


06 Jan 17
3 min read

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