2018 is looking set to bring a multitude of exciting and necessary changes to the biggest mobile apps you know and love. From Facebook to Instagram, you can expect to see plenty of new improvements and advancements on these platforms and so much more this year. Here are just some of the biggest changes to anticipate.
Instagram eclipsing Snapchat
Snapchat's recent redesign hasn't gone down well with loyal users, to say the least - many have gone so far as to say they're moving completely to Instagram, what with its new features that bear a striking resemblance to the original photo messaging app.
And so it makes sense that Instagram is running with this sudden advantage, working on bringing even more improvements and pioneering features to its Stories - one imminent update will allow users to repost pictures from people's profiles to their own stories (whilst crediting them, of course), an exciting feature that will convince users to stick with them from now on.
Spotify's radical overhaul
It's long been the favorite music streaming app for users worldwide, and Spotify looks set to improve even further in 2018 with a redesign that'll focus more on visuals than ever before. One major change? The Now Playing screen now includes full-screen cover art, getting rid of the grey background that users have become accustomed to.
Images will become bigger, with cover art being a major focus - although Spotify's brand identity is prevalent throughout the app design, the signature colors and fonts will exist with an exciting visual approach to the music you love.
Facebook's "family first" approach
If you use Facebook (and let's face it - who doesn't? After all, it's the social network of choice for 83% of people) you've likely noticed your news feed being saturated with videos, memes and brand posts that bear no relevance to you or the lives of your friends and family. Facebook seems to have lost its way in that field, and so this year it's focusing on bringing you the posts you care about.
Friends and family will be the main focus when Facebook's new 'News Feed' is introduced. You'll notice a lot less irrelevant videos and posts, with new algorithms bringing you closer to the ones you love. Look out for features such as starred profiles that'll let you customize your News Feed and see the content you want to see.
Messenger's necessary redesign
If you're an avid user of Facebook's Messenger app, you've probably noticed just how bloated and complicated it feels. As it has introduced plenty of new features over the years, from video calls to Chat Bots, the layout hasn't lent itself well to change - but Facebook is aiming to change that in 2018.
You can expect an entirely new design in the coming months, making it much easier to chat with friends without distraction. As previously mentioned, Facebook seems to have lost its way over the past few years, but by focusing on Messenger - an app that many people rely on - it could win users back with ease.
WhatsApp's group voice and video calls
iOS and Android users have longed for group video calls for years, but WhatsApp is beating them to the post with its third-party solution. The chat app is introducing group video and voice calls this year, a long-awaited feature that will also allow people to chat between Apple and Android phones.
For group calls for business or leisure purposes, WhatsApp could be the solution. It's something that really should have been implemented years ago and it feels senseless for such major mobile providers to not have pioneered in this instance, but at least there'll finally be a solution in 2018.
Which mobile apps update are you most excited for? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
This collaboration post was sent in by James Blakeson, a freelance media consultation company in the UK and learning Africa's potential in global mobile commerce.
Image source: @rami_alzayat