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Now that there are only a handful of months left in 2016, a number of trends have emerged out of the digital space.  This year’s hottest digital trends are those that offer a mix of services or work to provide platforms where people can conduct  business.

While we live in a heightened digital environment, there are still many untapped areas where some of this year’s top trendsetters have been able to set up shop and make their mark. Others have been born from merging decades-old tools with  more refined digital  capabilities.

With nearly 43 percent of the world inter-connected through the internet, continued digital advancement has become a crucial issue around the globe.  This year’s top three trends work to address these issues and pave the ground for future  growth.

  1. Live  Streaming

It’s not so much that the concept of live streaming is new, after all news organizations utilize large satellite trucks to live stream newscast daily. What is new is the power to do essentially the same thing with your  smartphone.

Thanks to enhanced mobile connectivity and improved technological capabilities, live streaming is now within the power and hand of all of  us.

Meerkat and Periscope, two live streaming apps, were among the earliest adopters of this new digital tool, providing users the opportunity to live stream directly to their Twitter  accounts.

Naturally, YouTube was also quick to add a live streaming option on their site in order to keep pace with the demand for live content. YouTube wasn’t the only large social media provider to see the need to integrate live streaming into its  model.

In an effort to display their ability to remain on the digital cutting edge, Facebook has also introduced a live streaming  tool.

In recent months, a number of companies have begun to recognize the role live streaming can play in marketing. According to the 2016 Digital Marketing report released by Conversion Advantage, live streaming is one of the best ways to engage a digital  audience.

“Being exposed to thousands of the same ads every day [online] does not leave any room for mediocre marketing tactics,” notes the report. “You need to grab consumers’ attention and then keep them engaged for more than a  second.”

  1. Ecommerce

In addition to giving us more ways to pay for goods and services, ecommerce tools are also helping many people in developing nations become self-sufficient entrepreneurs by giving them access to digital financial  tools.

In the western world, the latest ecommerce trends hinge on mobile pay apps known as digital wallets. Customers can use these apps to pay for purchases online or in person by simply displaying their phone and  barcode.

In other parts of the world, being able to access a digital wallet means much more than simple convenience.  Tools like the Kenyan-based M-Pesa are providing small merchants and business owners with access to the vast digital world, while simultaneously serving the large population of unbanked people who are too remote to visit a brick and mortar bank daily to conduct  business.

  1. Content  Monetization

Content monetization, like live streaming, is a concept that has been around for a while.  However, in recent years, we have begun to see a more concerted effort to monetize quality content to both facilitate its production and set it apart from the never ending barrage of digital  content.

Many print-based news organizations and websites have begun building and fortifying paywalls to safeguard their digital content and drive up advertising  sales.

For freelance journalists, videographers, photojournalists and other independent content creators, finding the right tools to monetize their content has proved more  challenging.

ConnectPal, a leading digital content marketplace, has been able to fill this void by offering content creators a subscription based profile model, which allows content creators to charge a monthly fee in order for audience members to gain access to the creators’ exclusive  content.

Aside from doing the all the billing and payment work, ConnectPal also provides crucial web traffic with their marketplace business model, giving ConnectPal members a chance to engage a larger audience and increase earning  potential.

From live streaming to content marketplaces the digital trends of  2016 have one common theme, giving users more power and the tools they need to better communicate and monetize their  world.

 

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