It's the last 'Skim of the year, so we're looking both forward and back: Check out the yearend roundups circulating in the social feeds, and learn which trends will be most critical for businesses in 2016. We'll also check out cool new stuff, including how aging Millennials will influence business, and Web analytics that can track emotions.

Skim to kick the holidays off right!

2015 in Review: A Social Perspective

Who better to recap 2015 than the platforms we spent the year with? From YouTube's quirky, music-centric roundup (chock full of YouTube stars, natch), to Facebook's and Twitter's emotional, more event-based retrospectives, these already-nostalgic topics are guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.

Bring it on, 2016.

1. Five trends to transform how companies use social media in 2016

These themes will change the way we think about—and use—social media, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes claims. Get in the know by skimming:

  • Social enters the workplace: With companies aiming for higher productivity, workplace messaging and collaboration tools like Slack and Facebook at Work will be commonplace.
  • Employee advocates take the reins: Employee social advocacy programs, which encourage staff to share company updates on their own social media, grew 191% since 2013, and are expected to take off in 2016.
  • Companies wade into social messaging: Largely untapped by businesses, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Kik will develop the analytics and insights needed to convince companies to join.
  • Social media advertising amplifies: It rose 33.5% in 2015 to nearly $24 billion, and will likely comprise 16% of all digital ad spend by 2017.
  • Video continues to dominate: With adults now consuming 66 minutes of online video daily, 70% of companies say video is the most effective weapon in their online arsenals.

2. Hot marketing trends you need to know for 2016

From wearable tech to virtual reality, this infographic highlights of the most-discussed marketing trends for the new year. Read it, pin it, prepare.

3. The best tips for publishing videos on Facebook

We won't harp (again!) on the importance of video in social marketing (and how Facebook prioritizes it over all other content), but we will suggest bookmarking this super-helpful guide to help you take advantage.

Covered in detail: Scheduling and expiration of videos on Facebook; editing, managing and adding captions; embedding, using "secret" videos; distribution, tracking metrics, and more.

4. Facebook's building a business-reviewing Yelp killer

It hasn't been formally announced, but the feature—already live for users—is Facebook's response to crowdsourced business review platforms like Yelp. Nearly all companies have a Facebook page, and considering its recent business-friendly developments (covered last week), incorporating reviews where users as well as companies most commonly gather is a logical next step for the 'Book.

5. Pinterest limits ad sales support to retail and consumer goods

Pinterest users search mostly for food, fashion, and decorating ideas, so the platform's decided to stop hands-on sales support for marketers in other ad categories. They can still advertise, but only through the platform's self-serve interface or via ad-tech firms that plug into Pinterest's platform (like Shopify).

6. How to push coupons, product demos, or contests on Snapchat

Snapchat now boasts over 100 million daily active users. How can you use it without spending $100K per day on advertising? This article covers the basics and inspiring, cost-effective strategies, including tips for incorporating coupons, product demos, contests, events, behind-the-scenes footage, and more. Get to snapping!

7. The trends that drove the best advertising in 2015

If the past year is any indication, advertisers have become more fearless in their storytelling. In 2015 big brands began tackling hard issues, jumping into Internet memes and surprising users with the unexpected. From gender identity to livestreaming and bloodvertising, these trends resonated most with audiences. Explore all 24 of them.

8. Need creative fodder? Creative Commons has over 1 billion ready-to-use content pieces

Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to providing (mostly) free-with-attribution access to top-notch photos, music, video, and more, has tripled its collection since 2010. Last year, the site's public domain material—which are free of trademark, copyright, and other restrictions—doubled to more than 35 million. That's huge news for content folks!

9. YouTube's mobile video ad views surpass desktop views; here's how to take advantage

Mobile made up nearly two-thirds of the 470 million views for YouTube's 10 most popular ads in 2015. Research unveils key trends for brands to consider as consumers continue to shift away from traditional desktop and TV:

  • Combining TV + YouTube: You know people now spend less time watching TV, but did you know 18-to-49-year-olds spent 44% more time on YouTube in 2015? Brands that combined YouTube and TV ads achieved, on average, 42% increase in reach among Millennials.
  • Longevity: Viewers exposed to TrueView ads, YouTube's skippable ad format, were 10 times more likely to take action. Remember that videos earn views for months and even years, and views of previously posted content can rise up to 500% after new videos are posted.

10. Millennials are growing up. What that means for brands...

Facebook IQ's handy infographic delivers key insights about how Millennial consumption differs from previous generations as they leave the nest, start working, and build families.

Key points: Millennials have substantial incomes, discover new brands and products via mobile, want more digital coupons, and—compared with Boomers—are way more comfortable buying consumer packaged goods online (and paying via mobile).

11. Web analytics could soon track emotions!

Researchers found a way to measure users' emotions via mouse tracking, which could open the door to more advanced analytics for improving user interfaces, designs and messaging. (Bentley's already built an app that reads facial expressions to recommend cars to people.)

The study found that frustrated, sad, or anxious users use a mouse more slowly, reducing the precision of their clicks. No word yet on how or whether these findings translate to mobile.

12. Facebook foists Moments app on us by disabling photo sync for mobile

Remember when Facebook removed messaging from its mobile app to make people download Messenger? A similar fate awaits photo sync, which lets users privately sync and save photos from their phones for sharing on Facebook later.

Beginning January 10, Facebook will replace the "Synced from Phone" album with a link to download Moments and a notification explaining the change.

13. How the EU's tough new data laws will have an impact on social media and advertising

On Tuesday, EU officials adopted strict measures on data and privacy that will affect companies that have European customers, even if those companies have no physical presence on the continent.

Among the updates: Obliging anyone under 16 to obtain parental consent before using services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat; allowing watchdogs to issue fines for personal data misuse; enshrining the right to be forgotten; and requiring companies to alert national regulators of data breaches within three days.

14. We'll wrap with... a rap

Deadlines for college applications are looming, so College Humor teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama and SNL's Jay Pharoah to rap for a good cause: motivating youth to pursue higher education. With nearly 4 million views, the video took social media by storm, so we've included it below for your enjoyment. Happy holidays and see you in the new year, Skimmers!

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#SocialSkim: Reflecting on a Super-Social 2015, Plus 14 More Stories in This Week's Roundup

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image of Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a social media strategist, copywriter, and journalist based in Paris. A Bay Area native and lover of vending machine candies, she co-founded and is a frequent guest on marketing podcast The Beancast. You can follow her on Twitter at @luckthelady.