How will 5G change social media and how we market to users?

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Social media marketing is a reactive discipline. A new platform or technology can change the landscape in a matter of weeks or months. With 5G on the horizon, promising superfast mobile data with lower power consumption. Technologies of all shapes and sizes are going to become much more mobile and much more connected. Having practically made mobile web browsing and (to an extent) mobile text and calls redundant, social media has changed how we communicate and how we market online. 5G could do the exact same thing.

More time on social media

5G is going to make it easier and less resource intensive to connect to social networks. For one example, autonomous cars are likely to become much more feasible once 5G makes it easier for vehicles to connect to the network. This means that “drivers” of autonomous cars could be spending more time checking their feeds on their commute.

A new way to look at things

This supposed increase of connectivity with a range of devices well beyond smartphones could mean that hardware like augmented reality glasses and mobile personal assistants, in the vein of Google Home, could become more broadly used. As a result, social media marketing may shift away from the traditional responsive design, aiming instead at creating more engaging visual content with a more graphic real estate to explore and make use of.

Video killed the content marketing star

Multimedia has always played a huge role in social media, but marketers are wary to include too much video before 4G. Those on the roam might not have the speeds or power to watch videos on mobile. 4G has already changed that, and video has suddenly become a much greater part of the social media experience. With 5G, that process will accelerate further, and delivering marketing messages through videos could become even more common than the current model of using snappy images to lead to text-based content.

Marketing on the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (also known as IoT) is helping more devices connect to one another, sharing data captured on sensors and digital devices in buildings, products, and even things like billboards and digital displays. This means that individual consumer data and histories could be shared from device to device, helping marketers craft marketing plans that are much more precise. Data from the IoT is going to be fed into social media marketing engines, allowing marketers to spend only on the ads most likely to be relevant to the consumer.

A more connected marketplace

5G is going to make it a lot easier for users of mobile devices, whether smartphone, AR glasses, or something as of yet unforeseen, to get on social media and thoroughly engage with it. The technology is much less susceptible to delays and disconnects, which means that consumers are likely to more frequently engage instead of passively consuming. This means that social media marketing is likely to become even more reactive. There will be less time allocated to planning and scheduling content and a lot more time capitalizing on ongoing conversations and constantly be updating trends.


The truth is that, like 4G led to the rise of app-interfacing business and a more multimedia-filled mobile internet, we won’t truly be able to grasp the impact of 5G until it comes. It is coming, however, and social media marketers must be ready to adapt.

Stuart Hall