If 2016 proved anything, it’s that everything has become less predictable. Politics. Technologies. Conflicts and warzones. Currencies and markets. Prices and… you get the picture.

Nothing seems clear-cut anymore and it’s difficult to determine who’s on whose side. Let alone judge whether the report you’ve just watched is fake or not. In our factually-challenged echo chamber, you’d be forgiven for thinking that attempts to foresee 2017 would be doomed.

Luckily (and somewhat predictably), Social@Ogilvy can offer more than hunches, gut feel and intuition. Marshall Manson (@MarshallManson) and James Whatley (@WhatleyDude) have collectively pondered much of the evidence for the changing social and digital landscape in the fourth annual edition of ‘Key Digital Trends for 2017’.

To kick off – with disarming honesty – they evaluate last year’s predictions. It’s a story of prophetic triumph and a single prediction that sucked (and still sucks):

  • Adblockers. Their rise in 2016 proved how outdated banner ads have become. Nailed it.
  • Video. The popularity of video shows no signs of abating. Nailed it.
  • Millennials. Against the odds, the marketers’ obsession with this spurious and nebulous audience grouping continues and IT’S GOT TO STOP. Failed it.

So, moving onto 2017, the authors focus their attention on:

  • The rise of the chatbot. This reflects massive investments in disruptive technologies in general, and in automation particularly.
  • The end of ethical decision making. Carrying on the automation theme, artificial intelligence and analytics are hastening the spectre of machines and robots making decisions on our behalf. The pay-off? They’re freeing us up to focus on more meaningful stuff. Possibly.
  • Living in a video-first world. The channel is reinventing itself constantly (RIP Vine), but it’s clear that humans will happily stare at (and possibly engage with) the moving image on a device of their choice for unhealthily long periods of time.
  • Social displacement. Highlighting Twitter’s and Facebook’s respective places in the world – social media never stands still and 2017 could prove pivotal in terms of trust and metrics.

Whatever 2017 brings, it’s well worth arming yourself with the thinking behind these latest forecasts. And, in the spirit of ‘forewarned is forearmed’, the real value of this SlideShare on future trends (even in a post-truth world) is the insightful commentary on what you can do about them.